LADWP power system crews have determined that no mechanical or electrical failure of LADWP electrical cables or equipment running through the affected vault occurred and the explosion on September 6, 2017 in the 6200 block of Brynhurst Avenue was not caused by any failure of LADWP equipment. The high-voltage electric cables were not damaged and continued to supply power to the grid before, during and after the explosion. As a precautionary measure to protect public safety and the safety of our crews while they determined if natural gas was present at levels that could be explosive, LADWP de-energized the lines. Both circuits running through the affected vault remain electrically sound and no evidence of any abnormal electrical component has been found associated with the incident.
The day after the explosion, on Thursday, September 7, 2017, LADWP industrial hygienists working with power system crews detected natural gas at potentially explosive levels while inspecting the affected vault and electrical substructures in the surrounding area. They immediately notified LAFD, LAPD and SoCal Gas.
According to SoCalGas, subsurface readings taken Saturday in the area indicate elevated levels of methane in the soils beneath the surface in one location on Brynhurst Avenue located approximately two blocks away from the site of the explosion. The subsurface readings taken indicated the need for SoCalGas to isolate and pressure test a four-inch gas line. Their crews were to begin replacing approximately 150 feet of the four-inch gas line Tuesday, September 12, regardless of the results of the pressure test. LADWP industrial hygienists detected natural gas at the site of the explosion and advised SoCalGas of these results.
SoCalGas has indicated to LADWP that they are replacing a section of pipe in the area and are continuing their testing. There have also been multiple venting tubes installed by SoCalGas in the surrounding areas. The CPUC [California Public Utilities Commission] is also on site monitoring their testing and pipe replacement work. While SoCal Gas isolates and cleans up the gas in the area, we have removed the transmission lines from service and will continue to monitor our vaults for the presence of natural gas. No disruption to electric service to our customers will result from removing these transmission lines from service.
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