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Underground explosion displaces manhole covers, knocks out power

SALT LAKE CITY — Two manhole covers were blown open and power was knocked out downtown after an underground explosion Monday.

Just before 3 p.m., businesses near 300 South and 200 East reported experiencing a power glitch and heard an explosion, Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay said.

When crews arrived, they found one manhole displaced with smoke coming out of the ground. A second manhole had been knocked back into place by a passing vehicle, Asay said.

Rocky Mountain Power was called in to investigate and it appears that the explosion was caused by a deteriorating power vault located approximately 12 feet underground, he said.

Power was restored and the intersection of 300 South and 200 East was reopened around 5 p.m.. Two businesses, the Tavernacle and the Green Ant, were also evacuated while fire crews secured the scene. No injuries or damage to vehicles was reported.