A manhole was blown off about 4:30 p.m. in the explosion in the 1500 block of East Villa Street, between Hill and Allen avenues, three blocks north of the Foothill (210) Freeway, Lisa Derderian of the Pasadena Fire Department said.
The explosion caused several other circuits to go out, Derderian said, necessitating elevator rescues, at least one car crash, and lots of fire alarms going off.
The outage occurred in an area bounded by Villa Street on the south, Hill Avenue on the west, Hudson Avenue on the north and California Boulevard on the south, Ann Erdman, Pasadena’s public information officer, said.
A cable failure caused pressure to build up inside the vault, which blew the manhole cover off. No injuries were reported, Erdman said.
Pasadena’s electricity is provided by city-owned Pasadena Water and Power.
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