Main Street rocked by sky-high manhole explosion

Residents of Brantwood Park were shocked by an explosion that blew a manhole cover high off of the ground in the late hours of Saturday, July 14.

The explosion at the intersection of Main Street and Beckwith Road did not injure anyone. Nearby residents were left in the dark when a power outage followed the explosion.

Pedestrians who witnessed the accident were alarmed when the manhole suddenly erupted. According to witnesses, the manhole cover appeared to be blown “two stories high” and “15 feet away” from its location on the road. After the explosion, smoke and sparks continued to come from the manhole.

The Ottawa Police Department reported they received a call about the incident at 11:24pm. The Ottawa Fire Department was quick to respond to the call and sent their Hazardous Materials team to the scene.

Marc Messier, Public Information Officer of Ottawa Fire Services, confirmed it was “not a sewer manhole but rather an electrical vault” that erupted.

“There was no fire when [the Haz Mat team] arrived,” he said. Messier also assured the public the team secured the area to ensure maximum safety to nearby residents.

“It is suspected that there was some sort of electrical failure in the vault causing the explosion and cutting power to the area,” Messier said.

A team from Hydro Ottawa arrived at the scene of the explosion the same night to repair the damage to the vault and restore power to the neighbourhood.

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