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UPDATE: Underground electrical vault explosion leaves lights out at McBean and Alegro

Posted: July 31, 2012 11:20 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2012 11:20 p.m.

Firefighters from Fire Station 124 look on as smoke rises from a man hole cover where an explosion occurred in an underground electrical vault in Valencia on Tuesday.

 

An underground electrical vault blew out around 8 p.m. at McBean Parkway and Alegro Drive, police officials said.

A total of three separate explosions were heard in that single area, with the most recent at 8:10 p.m., according to Lt. Tom Bryski of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“We’re stopping traffic on McBean and Singing Hills as a precaution because they’ve heard three explosions coming from underground,” he said.

The traffic signals at the intersection are out of power, Bryski said.

An Edison spokesman confirmed that there was circuit interruption in the Santa Clarita area starting at 7:49 p.m.

“We did experience equipment failure in a vault at McBean and Alegro that resulted in loss of power for approximately 1,500 customers,” said Rudy Gonzales, Southern California Edison region manager. “The area north of Wiley Canyon Road, south of Del Monte Drive, east of Rockwell Canyon Road and west of Alicante Drive.”

As of 8:35 p.m., half of the affected customers had power restored.

"We had a bad switch in the vault," Gonzales said. "A switch is piece of equipment that allows us to reroute power through our system. It’s a key piece of equipment that didn’t allow us to isolate it more quickly."

Police notified Edison of the problem as soon as officers determined that it was an electrical problem, Bryski said.

Edison workers were on scene within the hour and will continue to work through the night to repair the damage.

The first crew sent out was what Gonzales calls "troublemen," who work to isolate the problem as much as possible and then hand the situation over to a repair crew. By 11 p.m. the first crew had isolated the problem so it only affected 220 customers.

However, those 220 customers will remain without power until sometime Wednesday morning, Gonzales said. The still-affected area is north of Golf Course Road, souther of Dalgo Drive, east of Nashua Way and west of Lochmoor Road.

There is no evacuation scheduled for the surrounding area but officers are directing traffic away from the intersection and recommend drivers avoid the area.

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