Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham manhole explosion 'just missed' child

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Media captionThe cause of the explosions is being investigated

An explosion in a manhole on a Birmingham street "just missed" a child who was walking nearby, the fire service has said.

The explosion happened at 12:21 GMT at Warwick Road, Tyseley, the service said. The cause is still being established.

Video footage posted by West Midlands Fire and Rescue shows a child and two adults walking past the manhole immediately before the explosion.

National Grid is investigating.

The fire service said the explosion had "narrowly" missed the child.

"We got there this afternoon. We understand a nearby mains box was smoking prior to the incident, which may have caused two manhole covers to become dislodged," said a representative.

"Fortunately - and amazingly - the family passing by weren't hurt. Utility companies are investigating who owns the manholes and the cause."

A National Grid representative said such explosions did happen, but were "not common".

"We have a team on site trying to find out whether there was gas involved in the explosion," she said.

"We will remain there until we either find a gas escape or somebody can establish a cause."

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