Underground vault explodes, destroys road in Hyde Park

HYDE PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A stretch of road in Hyde Park is being blocked off to the public after an underground vault exploded and destroyed part of the street Wednesday.

The vault exploded with so much force that it sent four inches of concrete, three inches of asphalt and hundreds of pounds of metal covers into the air.

"I've never seen one that's blown like this. Not this big," Los Angeles Fire Battalion Chief Kris Larson said.

AIR7 HD captured footage of the damage after a transmission line with 138,000 volts stopped working. Larson said a home is about 120 volts or as much as 240 volts.

Rita Rodgers was inside when it happened.

"I heard a big explosion that sounded like a bomb. It shook my building," she said. "I didn't know what was going on."

Jessica Hughes said she will never forget the sound.

"I heard stuff falling like the big rocks of concrete fall on the ground, so I was like OK something is worse than a car exploding. It was really loud, it gave me a headache," she said.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is waiting until the vault is de-energized to get a closer look at the damage and cause.

Luckily, no one was injured in the explosion.

The utility service crews may have to wait until Thursday to fully assess what exactly happened, so the road may be closed for some time.
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