January 15th, 2021

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


By The Canadian Press on January 6, 2021.

Firefighters arrive on scene after an underground explosion near the entrance to one of the buildings that make up the Vancouver House condo, retail and office development in Vancouver, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Electrical faults in underground utility cables set off a fire and a subsequent electric arc that the fire department says caused 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.

The former industrial area has been redeveloped and includes grocery, 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2021.

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