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Avon Street in Bath explosion caused by underground cable fault

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 01, 2014

  • The small explosion caused a manhole cover to be lifted

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People in the centre of Bath witnessed an explosion this morning.

The small explosion from underneath the pavement in Avon Street in Bath has resulted in a fire outside a city centre shop.

The sound of a loud bang and a “fizzing” noise was heard at around 8.20am and onlookers saw the force of the explosion had lifted one of the manhole covers.

Luckily no-one was walking on that section of pavement at the time and nobody has been injured.

It happened outside the Sally hair and beauty shop on the corner with James Street West and smoke and flames can now be seen coming from underground.

BID rangers and City of Bath College security staff were first on the scene.

Police community support officers are also in the area and are directing traffic around the road closure.

The fire brigade arrived and cordoned off part of Avon Street and have started putting out the flames.

It is thought it may have been caused by an electrical fault.

An Avon Fire and Rescue spokesman said firefighters had used a CO2 extinguisher on the flames, but the incident was still ongoing.

There was a minor incident when a passing bus collided with the side of one of the fire engines, while trying to get past the closure.

It then drove off without stopping.

However, the Avon Fire and Rescue spokesman said this had not caused any problems.

A Western Power Distribution spokeswoman said the fire had meant seven properties had lost power.

She said: "We have now made the area safe and the fire brigade are clearing up the scene.

"It was caused by an underground cable fault and the scale of the loud bang was because it happened in an enclosed space.

"Once the fire brigade have finished at the scene our engineers will work on repairing the fault and we hope to have the seven customer reconnected by the end of the morning."

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