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Electrical faults blamed for yesterday's car fire, explosion and crater in downtown Vancouver

The explosion left a 3m crater
An explosion in downtown Vancouver Tuesday, Jan. 5, led to a crater and nearby vehicle fire.

An explosion Tuesday in downtown Vancouver, which left a 3 m crater and lit a vehicle on fire, was due to electrical faults.

The explosion, which was reported to Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) at 3 p.m., occurred underground near the intersection of Granville Street and Pacific Avenue. Upon arrival, crews doused a vehicle that was in flames and discovered a crater 30 metres away, where a significant amount of concrete had been moved.

Following an investigation, which involved police, along with BC Hydro and Fortis, it's been determined that the explosion was caused by electrical faults when some cables failed, according to a press release from the VFRS.

"The subsequent large electrical arc within a confined space resulted in the explosion, displacing concrete and damaging several vehicles," states the VFRS in the release.

The vehicle which caught fire was above a utility access cover; flames came up through the cover. The crater is near an underground utility vault.

While there was property damage, no one was harmed in the incident, according to the release. However, traffic may be affected during the clean-up and repair phases.