Ex­plo­sion CAusEs mAn­holE CovEr to fly into thE Air

Lucky es­cape for shop­pers on busy city cen­tre street

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

Shop­pers had a lucky es­cape af­ter an un­der­ground ex­plo­sion launched a man­hole cover into the air in Peter­bor­ough city cen­tre. The in­ci­dent hap­pened in LongCause­wayn­eartheMarie Curie char­ity shop at about 1.30pm on Mon­day.

Res­i­dents re­ported hear­ing a large bang, be­fore the cover was blown into the air on the busy street, which was filled with shop­pers, chil­dren and work­ers on their lunch break.

An area of the street was cor­doned off while en­gi­neers worked to make the scene safe, andfind­whathad­caused the prob­lem.

Eye­wit­ness Sarah Rat­cliffe said: “My­self, my­one-year-old and my three-year-old were maybe six me­tres away - it could eas­ily havekilled them.”

A spokesman for UK Power Net­works said: “UK Power Net­works en­gi­neers quickly at­tended the Long Cause­way area of Peter­bor­ough at 1.40pm to­day, af­ter an in­ci­dent was re­ported to us at 1.31pm by the fire brigade.

“We had 10 prop­er­ties off sup­ply from 1.31pm to­day but all had their power sup­plies re­stored at 3.38pm. We­would like to apol­o­gise to them for any in­con­ve­nience caused.”

It is not the f i rst t i me an ex­plo­sion has caused a man­hole cover to be blown into the air in the city, but the UK Power Net­works spokesman said: “In­ci­dents such as ex­plo­sions and fires areveryrare, with­thev­astma- jor­ity of elec­tri­cal faults found and re­paired with­out any ex­ter­nal im­pact.

“Pub­lic safety is al­ways our top pri­or­ity.”

A po­lice spokesman said: “We were called at about 1.10pm on Mon­day af­ter­noon with re­ports of a man­hole cover ex­plod­ing into the air in Long Cause­way, Peter­bor­ough.

“Thank­fully no one has been in­jured, how­ever the area was evac­u­ated.”

The man­hole ex­plo­sion in Brook Street, Peter­bor­ough in 2011.

The scene in Long Cause­way.

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