4 Injured In Underground Vault Explosion; Power Restored To Cedars-Sinai

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Four people suffered minor injuries Friday in an explosion in an underground electrical vault in the Beverly Grove area, authorities said.

The blast was reported around 1:20 p.m. at an office building on the 8400 block of Beverly Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Margaret Stewart.

vault 4 Injured In Underground Vault Explosion; Power Restored To Cedars Sinai

An underground cable connection is to blame, according to Department of Water and Power.

The office building – which officials say suffered only cosmetic damage and no structural compromise – was evacuated as a precaution.

The blast blew out windows at a neighboring restaurant, Northern Cafe. Cement was sent into the restaurant and the glass went flying, hitting three people sitting inside the restaurant. Another person was hurt inside the neighboring store.

The four patients — three males and a female, all customers at two nearby businesses — were evaluated at the scene and declined to be taken to a hospital, according to the fire department.

The explosion left hundreds of hundreds of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers without electricity for at least 12 hours, including the Park La Brea apartment complex, The Grove shopping and entertainment center and Cedars- Sinai Medical Center. The hospital was forced to use backup generators and asked LAFD not to transport patients to their facility during that time.

Power was restored at around 4:40 a.m. Saturday to about 3,500 customers, according to LADWP.

“There was a machine that was going to be used for my mother’s eye and it couldn’t get any electricity,” said Lou Marie Tomasello. They were inside the hospital when the power went out.

The generator came on and the machine started working. Non-emergency surgeries were rescheduled for another day.

“They gave me lunch because I was there for awhile,” said Tomasello.

The blown cable that caused the vault explosion in Beverly Grove Friday shares the same circuit as another cable that blew up Thursday, causing a power outage in The Grove area.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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