Monday, April 13, 2015

Electrical Fire Explosion under Street sends Manhole cover Rocketing into the Air - Buffalo NY | WGRZ

Electrical Fire and Explosion under street sends ‪#‎ManholeCover‬ rocketing into the Air - Buffalo NY

An underground electrical fire on Tupper Street caused a series of explosions Sunday afternoon.
(Photo: WGRZ)

Unexplained cause - Probe Continues

13.04.2015

BUFFALO, NY – National Grid Corp. hopes to learn within a few days what sparked a fire involving some underground electrical cables, which resulted in an explosion that sent a manhole cover soaring several stories in the air in downtown Buffalo on Sunday.
"They pulled all the bad cable out and it will be sent off to a lab for testing and examination," said National Grid Spokesperson Steve Brady."However, sometimes it is burned up so badly that they are not able to completely tell. But it's going to take at least a couple of days to determine before we have an answer."
Common causes generally include aged cables, excessive salt and water from a harsh winter, which can get in and deteriorate them, or even rats chewing on them, according to National Grid.
According to Brady, it is common for there to be a rapid buildup of heat and gas during a fire in an underground conduit, which is after all a confined space.
On somewhat rare occasions, there can be an explosion with enough force to move a heavy manhole cover.
Extremely rare, he says, is when a cover is sent rocketing into the air.
."In most cases what will happen when a cover comes off is it will essentially pop but maybe move a couple of inches or a couple of feet….the one we witnessed (Sunday) is, fortunately, exceedingly rare."

WGRZ - Channel 2, Buffalo Photojournalist Dave Harrington captured the loud explosion and rocketing manhole cover on video.
Check out the Graphics displayed:"Under Control" - Right.#‎WGRZ‬



(Amazing Video via WGRZ)
‪#‎ElectricalFire‬ ‪#‎Buffalo‬ ‪#‎ExplodingManhole‬


Probe Continues Into Explosion That Sent Buffalo Manhole Soaring


Dave McKinley, @WGRZ 8:04 p.m. EDT April 13, 2015

Common causes generally include aged cables, excessive salt and water from a harsh winter, which can get in and deteriorate them, or even rats chewing on them, according to National Grid.

According to Brady, it is common for there to be a rapid buildup of heat and gas during a fire in an underground conduit, which is after all a confined space.


On somewhat rare occasions, there can be an explosion with enough force to move a heavy manhole cover.


Extremely rare, he says, is when a cover is sent rocketing into the air.


."In most cases what will happen when a cover comes off is it will essentially pop but maybe move a couple of inches or a couple of feet….the one we witnessed (Sunday) is, fortunately, exceedingly rare."


In recent years a number of utilities have gone to slotted manhole covers to allow the gas to be released less violently, including National Grid.


"We actually have very few solid manhole covers left in our system," said Brady, who said he was uncertain as to the type of manhole cover involved in Sunday's incident.


At the same time, however, a potential downside to slotted covers is the potential decrease in their ability to keep out that, which commonly leads to fires in the first place.


"Especially the debris and road runoff that goes down into the those vaults," Brady said.

Source Report:
http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/2015/04/13/electrical-cable-which-caught-fire-being-tested-at-a-lab/25731771/?hc_location=ufi
http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/local/downtown/2015/04/12/fire-under-tupper-street-in-buffalo/25673489/
http://youtu.be/dNeGJSojUN8


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