Woman falls down open manhole after electrical explosion in Edmonton
Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 12:45PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 10, 2018 3:39PM EST
EDMONTON -- A woman was taken to hospital Wednesday after she fell down a manhole that had blown open in an electrical explosion in downtown Edmonton.
The fire department responded to a power outage and explosion not far from the Alberta legislature around 7:30 a.m.
"There was an electrical vault explosion underground that blew a manhole cover off in that area," said Maya Filipovic, a spokeswoman for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
"Once we got there, we discovered that there was an injured civilian down in the vault and we proceeded to do a technical rescue on her. She had fallen about 12 feet into the vault."
It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to use a harness to pull the woman out of the narrow passageway, where she was caught in some high-voltage wires.
"She was conscious, but there were some lower body injuries," said Filipovic.
A spokesman for Emergency Medical Services said two seniors -- both women -- were assessed at the site. The woman who was rescued by firefighters was transported to hospital in non-life-threatening condition.
"One patient was only assessed and released on scene," said Alex Campbell.
Utilities provider Epcor said the explosion knocked out electricity to customers in parts of the downtown and the nearby neighbourhood of Rossdale Flats. Power was back on for some within a few hours and crews were working to restore the rest by Wednesday afternoon.
"Safety ... both of the public and our crews, and emergency crews as well, is always Epcor's most important concern so we take this seriously," said spokesman Tim le Riche. "We are working with emergency crews to determine what has happened."
Alberta Occupational Health and Safety spokesman Trent Bancarz said they are also investigating the incident.