British Columbia

Vancouver blast that tore 3-metre crater in sidewalk blamed on failed utility cables

Electrical faults in underground utility cables set off a fire and a subsequent electrical arc that the fire department says created a three-metre crater in a new commercial area under Vancouver's Granville Street Bridge.

Electrical arc set off explosion that tore up chunks of cement, damaged several vehicles

Firefighters arrive on scene after an underground explosion occurred near the Granville Bridge. A very brief fire broke out just before the explosion that sent large chunks of concrete into one car and a flaming piece of debris into another car causing it to catch fire. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Electrical faults in underground utility cables set off a fire and a subsequent electrical arc that the fire department says created a three-metre crater in a new commercial area under Vancouver's Granville Street Bridge.

A statement from the department says fire investigators worked with officials from utility companies to determine that a fire in a car 30 metres away from the blast was also caused by the electrical faults.

The electrical arc set off an explosion that tore up large chunks of cement and damaged several nearby vehicles, but no one was hurt.

The department says traffic in the area will be affected during the cleanup and repairs to a utility vault.

A car burns after an underground explosion occurred near the entrance to one of the buildings that make up the Vancouver House condo, retail and office development near the Granville Bridge in Vancouver. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The former industrial area has been redeveloped and includes a grocery store, drug stores, a bank, a private university, and a highrise apartment building.

Spinning Chandelier, a popular piece of public art that is near the blast, was not damaged.

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