A sidewalk has exploded on a London street – and it’s not the first time it’s happened.
Footage captured by a witness in a nearby building shows a man looking at a mysterious hole in a sidewalk in the central London neighborhood of Pimlico. Witnesses then report hearing three bangs, the second of which was accompanied by flames shooting out of the hole – sending the curious bystander running for his life. “We heard this huge bang and there was black smoke everywhere,” a man who works across the street told the London Evening Standard. “Then came the second, which was like a volcano erupting from underneath the pavement, the flame was about ten feet high, it was very scary.”
The blast, which is being investigated by the U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive, is thought to have been caused by a faulty 11,000-volt underground electricity cable, reports the Standard.
Worryingly for residents, exploding sidewalks appear to be a new London trend: a string of similar cases have been reported over the last two years. In August 2011, an elderly man was reportedly confined to a wheelchair for nearly three months after an explosion blew out a manhole cover he was standing on while talking to friends, according to the Standard. He reportedly claimed negligence on the part of U.K. Power Networks, which owns and maintains the capital’s electrical grid, but the company apparently refused to speculate on what caused the explosion.