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A series of pavement explosions has injured at least seven pedestrians in London in recent months, the Standard can reveal today. One pensioner is now suing a power supply company after he was left seriously injured by an explosion under a manhole in a London street. Details of his case have emerged just weeks after a woman pedestrian suffered 20 per cent burns in a similar freak explosion in Edgware Road.
Underground cables become frayed from aging, corrosive chemicals, overload or rats biting them. These cables carry on the order of 13,000 volts of electricity. These electrical wires heat up the paper, lead and rubber insulation. The insulation smolders and catches on fire, releasing gases. The pressure from the gas builds up inside the manhole. The electrical wires arc like a bolt of lightning and ignite the gases, causing a powerful explosion. Depending on the amount of gas-pressure built up inside the manhole, the cover may flip over or be launched several feet in the air. Often, there may not be an explosion, just a lot of smoke or fire.
Originally posted by Mamatus
I would not be happy to be a manhole cover......
Originally posted by detachedindividual
I would basically put this down to a complete lack of investment in infrastructure over the last few years. This is what happens when you sell off national infrastructure to corporations who just want a profit in the short term and don't give a damn about their customers, the public, the long term stability of the company or anything else beyond this quarters profits.