, Salem, MA

Local News

August 3, 2012

Blown fuses trigger manhole explosions

SALEM — Two blown fuses on an electrical line apparently triggered the fire that caused a series of manhole explosions near Bridge and Wall streets yesterday morning.

Police responded to a 2:39 a.m. report of a manhole explosion on Mall Street and found a “large amount of smoke” from an underground fire, Salem police Lt. James Walker said.

Several other manholes subsequently exploded, popping off their covers in the process but causing no property damage or injuries, Walker said.

The Fire Department was called in, but the fire was just about out when they arrived, said Salem fire Lt. Michael Leonard.

“We got there, the street was full of smoke,” Leonard said. “The fire had already taken place.”

National Grid spokesperson Charlotte McCormack said the situation was caused by two blown fuses on a line on Mall Street. Twenty-three customers lost electricity, McCormack said.

Part of Bridge Street was closed until nearly noon while National Grid replaced a cable.

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