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Driver Rattled, Thousands Lose Power After Underground Electrical Vault Explodes In Irvine

IRVINE ( — A driver was shaken and rattled but uninjured Saturday afternoon following an explosion in an underground vault in Irvine.

Authorities said the blast also knocked out power to nearly 3,000 customers just after 3:15 p.m.

The explosion happened at the intersection of Culver and Michelson Drives. The blast rattled a vehicle stopped in the intersection. The vehicle's air bags deployed, Irvine police Lt. Dave Klug said.

The stunned driver of the vehicle did not require hospital treatment, he said.

An SCE spokesman said 2,915 customers had their power knocked out. That number was down to 445 by 7 p.m., spokesman Paul Netter said.

Crews were working to restore full service, Netter said, but he had no estimate of when work would be completed.

The off-ramps to Culver Boulevard from the nearby San Diego (405) Freeway briefly were closed following the blast, as was the intersection at Culver and Michelson, Klug said.


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