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Underground Transformer Explodes In Downtown Indy

No one hurt; some businesses near South Meridian closed

(photo courtesy IFD)

An underground transformer blast rocked part of downtown Indianapolis, though it appears no one was hurt.

People in and around South Meridian Street just south of Monument Circle reported hearing several loud noises around 1:30pm.  Smoke began billowing from street vents, forcing the evacuation of some buildings.  The Indianapolis Fire Department says a transformer explosion caused the noises and the smoke - the smoke had largely dissipated about half an hour later.  

No one was hurt according to the fire department and Indianapolis Power & Light.  IPL spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy says the explosion was the result of a failed underground network protector inside a vault at 26 South Meridian.  Four transformers are located inside the vault and feed into the south side of Circle Centre Mall.

Bruce Plott, who was working construction downtown, said he heard what sounded like someone banging on aluminum garbage cans as he walked down some stairs next to Buffalo Wild Wings on Washington Street, around the corner from where the explosion took place.  "It went on for almost ten minutes," Plott said. "It was pretty scary, so I walked around the corner and saw the smoke coming out of the sidewalk in front of the Napolese Restaurant and City Securities," businesses adjacent to each other on South Meridian.

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