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Underground Electrical Ka-Booms Close Louisville Street

"It could have been worse."

A SERIES OF AT LEAST FOUR below-grade electrical explosions in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, Saturday morning kept firefighters at a distance for a short while until the manhole covers landed.

Courier-Journal photo

Around 7:30 am the first in the series of explosions occurred on Seventh Street in front of the courthouse and main police station.  One of the first blasts sent a manhole cover flying "several stories" high and left an 8-ft. square hole in the pavement.

This brief video from the Courier-Journal shows that the excitement continued after the FD arrived on the scene:


The initial fire call was for smoke inside the police station.  When the FD arrived they had not yet located the source of the smoke when the first of the ka-booms occurred.  A second one followed shortly after, and then ten minutes later the third one rattled things.  A fourth explosion took off some time later.

The fire was located in an underground electric vault and went out at 2:30 pm after the electric company secured the scene and isolated the problem.  However the buildings nearby continued to register high levels of carbon monoxide inside throughout the day.

WDRB-TV filed this good video report from the scene:

 WDRB 41 Louisville – News, Weather, Sports Community

The blasts occurred during a time in which that street would have been heavily traveled had it been a weekday. "We’re definitely fortunate with the timing of it," said Brian Phillips, a spokesman for the electric company. "It could have been worse."

Read the full report from the Louisville Courier-Journal HERE.

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