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Underground explosion displaces manhole covers, knocks out power

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 6:55 p.m. MDT

Rocky Mountain Power employees and firefighters stand near one of two manhole covers that were blown off near the corner of 300 South and 200 East Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Two manhole covers were blown open and power was knocked out downtown after an underground explosion Monday.

Just before 3 p.m., businesses near 300 South and 200 East reported experiencing a power glitch and heard an explosion, Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay said.

When crews arrived, they found one manhole displaced with smoke coming out of the ground. A second manhole had been knocked back into place by a passing vehicle, Asay said.

Rocky Mountain Power was called in to investigate and it appears that the explosion was caused by a deteriorating power vault located approximately 12 feet underground, he said.

Power was restored and the intersection of 300 South and 200 East was reopened around 5 p.m.. Two businesses, the Tavernacle and the Green Ant, were also evacuated while fire crews secured the scene. No injuries or damage to vehicles was reported.

E-mail: benwood@desnews.com

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