UPDATE: Insulation Led to Underground Explosions in Ohio

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 9/1/2014 3:40 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - American Electric Power says explosions that sent manhole covers flying in downtown Columbus last February happened when insulation material on electricity cables broke down because of water, salt and other factors.

Nobody was injured in the explosions that sent two manhole covers into the air and shattered one.

The utility is spending around $30 million to prevent any similar explosions.

AEP says the cracked insulation exposed metal wires to the air and the high level of electricity running through the cables produced heat. That caused the rubber insulation to burn, releasing a flammable gas.

The utility says the gas built up inside a small vault that holds electricity equipment and the heat and electricity likely led to a spark that caused the explosion.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Authorities in Columbus were trying to determine the source of several explosions downtown overnight that blew off manhole covers, set off fire alarms and flooded emergency responders with calls.

At least three blasts, apparently underground, occurred in the early hours of Friday morning. Officials said they apparently are related to problems with equipment belonging to a power company.

Police cordoned off streets, and the electric company cut power to several surrounding buildings, closing or delaying work for some downtown employees. Some traffic lights were knocked out. Smoke was seen coming from one of the manholes.

The investigation was continuing. No injuries were reported.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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