Residents tell tale of pavement explosion

Scott Woodward looking down the hole at the blown electricity cable.
Scott Woodward looking down the hole at the blown electricity cable.

A street was taped off following reports of a series of small underground explosions on Saturday morning.

Emergency services attended Middleton Road, Ilkeston, shortly after 11am on Saturday. The cause is believed to have been water coming into contact with electricity cables beneath the pavement.

Scott Woodward, whose house is just feet away from what is now a hole in the road, told the Advertiser that he and his partner Jade were alerted to it by what was a very loud bang, like a firework.

He said: “I went outside and could see the grate had been blown to smithereens, and you could see electric cable and a junction box.”

He said the explosion, which caused smoke to waft down the street, could have injured someone if they had been walking over it at the time. He pulled his wheelie bins and cordoned off the area around the hole.

They then called the fire service and electric company Western Power Distribution, who marked the job as a priority.

He said: “Ten minutes later I kept hearing the occasional bang and you could feel it. It started to get quicker.

“I kept hearing a thud and saw the pavement rise by four inches.”

The fire service were quick to attend and closed the road.

Up to six vans from Western Power arrived on the scene as engineers cut the power supply to carry out repairs.

A spokesperson for Western Power Distribution said engineers attended the scene at around 1.10pm.

She said: “They were able to isolate the problem and get everyone back on for 4.45pm.

“We will have to come back and do some permanent repairs but don’t envisage it will affect any power supplies.

“We would like to apologise for any disruptions caused.”

The hole remains in place and has been cordoned off with plastic barriers.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue said: “The grate lid had been broken during one explosion.

“Small bangs were being heard from inside the electricity culvert.”

There were no reports of any injuries.

Police and firefighters remained at the scene until the arrival of electrical engineers.

The fault is understood to be a common occurrence across the country and caused as the result of moisture and wear and tear.