OUC crews repair underground powerline that exploded in downtown Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — Crews with the Orlando Utilities Commission are repairing an underground powerline after it exploded Sunday night.

Resident Anthony Poltkin was feeding the ducks at Lake Eola when he heard the explosion.
"A supersonic jet goes into superssonic speed and you hear that big boom? That's what it sounded like," said Poltkin.

Jeff Yorston was inside The Metropolitan at Lake Eola.

“I looked out the window and there was, like, smoke pluming up,” he said.

The force of the blast pushed up about six inches of asphalt, but no one was hurt and the building wasn’t damaged.

“I’m not going to say it’s not going to happen again, but they’re very infrequent,” said OUC spokesperson Tim Trudell.

He said the cable was in a concrete box or vault.

“There was probably a small fire in there, but it’s all contained to that concrete. So, it prevents a much bigger problem, a must bigger catastrophic issue,” said Trudell.

The concrete vault was about five feet deep and four feet long.

Trudell said 65 percent of OUC’s grid is underground, and there are hundreds of underground vaults holding cables around the city.

“We can’t catch everything,” he said. “That’s why we put redundancies in place, such as the vault.”

He said the cable was likely checked within the last three years.

Cierra Putman

Cierra Putman, WFTV.com

Cierra Putman flew south to join Eyewitness News in July 2016.