Brockton, Massachusetts – Several manholes blew up on Main Street in Brockton Friday afternoon. Power had to be cut because the explosion was provoked by electrical cables that caught fire. No one was injured, but some cars were damaged.
According to city officials, at least ten explosions underground shot up manholes in 132-162 Main Street Friday, around 03:30 p.m. Emergency crews arrived at the scene and evacuated the area.
After evaluating the situation, officials believed that electrical wires underground caught fire and called the National Grid to cut the power in the area. Electrical fires cannot be engaged with water.
According to Enterprise News, the fire and explosions took place for about an hour and a half before the National Grid turned off the electricity in the areas, which caused a delay for the Brockton firefighters to fight the flames underground.
While the firefighters put the underground blaze out, dozens of people were evacuated from different buildings on Main Street, causing a significant traffic backup on Belmont Street.
Brockton fire on scene of multiple manhole explosions pic.twitter.com/7xXywTlDb2
— Brockton Fire (@Brockton_Fire) July 1, 2016
Manholes led power grids to shut down, which could leave people without electricity
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter said in a press conference at the scene that the power was cut from Crescent to Center streets.
According to the National Grid, 1,403 users were affected by the power cut and officials say residents in the immediate area may be without power for 24 hours. But the power is expected to be restored for the majority by 07:45 p.m.
Carpenter declared in the press conference that the police and fire department responded immediately and cleared the area as quick as they could. He added that while the evacuations were going on, the explosions continued. Manholes popped while people was being evacuated. According to the mayor, there were 5 or 6 detonations.
NECN News reports that power lines operated by the National Grid caught fire and gas pressure underground built up and caused the explosions.
No one was injured during the incident. Mayor Bill Carpenter stated that due to the holiday weekend, few people were around the area. Many people had already left town.
Two vehicles caught fire, and a manhole cover shattered a window
Enterprises News says that in front of Elvera’s Cafe, an unoccupied Nissan Impala was parked over a manhole. When it exploded underneath, the car caught fire. Firefighters had to move the vehicle to put the flames out.
A Mercedes-Benz was also affected by the incident although it did not catch on fire. Only the back end of the car was damaged.
The front window of a building at 136 Main St. was shattered by the force of a manhole cover. Motorists are urged to seek alternate routes.
— JADIANN THOMPSON (@JadiannTV) July 1, 2016