Pimlico pavement explodes, narrowly missing passer by

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Media captionThe moment a London pavement exploded

A central London resident has released video footage of the moment when a pavement exploded in central London, narrowly missing a passer by.

The blast, which left a crater in the street, occurred at about 10:25 BST on Thursday and is thought to have been caused by a faulty power cable.

Eyewitness Charlie Brook filmed the second explosion from her window.

UK Power Networks said: "Safety is our top priority and the cause of this incident is being investigated."


The blast took place outside Anthony Outred Antiques shop.

Ms Brook described hearing three explosions on Pimlico Road, the most dramatic being the second blast, which saw flames erupt into the air.

"It was frightening," she said. "The chap on the corner had a very lucky escape from the scene.

"It's a very busy street and anyone could have been walking past," she added.

"A lot of people come from the Tube station and we have lots of traffic. It's lucky the Chelsea Flower Show wasn't on as it gets very busy then."

The second explosion happened metres from where a man was standing talking on his on mobile phone.

He can be seen running away following the blast.

"It's very lucky no-one was injured," Ms Brook said.

"My fear was that the explosions would travel. My main concern was the safety of residents."

'Fireball explosion'

Alastair McKenzie, who works at Anthony Outred Antiques, said he was in their shop next door and heard the first explosion, minutes before seeing the fireball emerge from the pavement.

"The first one sounded like scaffolding falling. Then I looked out of the front of the shop next door and I saw the fireball explosion. It lasted a very short time.

"The slabs on the ground were already raised from the first explosion and there were a number of loose slabs when the second explosion occurred.

"A fireball came out from under the slabs and the pavement."

Mr McKenzie said he went back to the shop to check whether any damage was caused, but the shop, including the windows, was intact.

He said he did not notice the pedestrian seen in the video, but added: "There's always people walking past and I am amazed nobody was hurt."

A National Grid spokesman said: "We were called at 10:41 BST. However, we have checked our assets in the area and they are all fine."

A UK Power Networks spokeswoman said a fault on the electricity network in Pimlico Road had interrupted power supplies to almost 2,000 customers.

"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by the power cut and our staff restored all supplies as quickly as safely possible," she said.

The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the incident and was making inquiries.

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