UPDATE: Underground explosion caused by blown fuses

West Virginia News

BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS)– 6/3/2020 4:30 p.m. The cause of the underground explosion last Wednesday on Bland Street has been announced.

According to AEP Spokesperson Phil Moye says the cause of the explosion was from a fuse blowing. He said the fuses act as a safety device that interrupts electric supply when a fault is detected and can cause a loud noise.

Moye also said two short runs of underground electric cables were damaged and have been replaced and that was what caused smoke from the man hole.


BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — 5/27/2020 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020: Multiple crews from the two Virginia’s responded to an underground explosion. Lieutenant Robert Stevenson with the Bluefield West Virginia fire department confirmed an explosion happened in a man hole on Bland Street.

Around 11:45 a.m. smoke started to reappear from the hole. Stevenson said his confined space technicians sprung into action to put the flames out.

“Allowed them to be able to shoot water back into the conduit, that was continuing to catch fire, and we were able to get the fire out,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said they did evacuate a two block radius as a precaution. He also said AEP is trying to determine a cause for the explosion.

“I believe they will try to determine what caused it,” Stevenson said. “But also shore up the man hole and make sure that they put trans boxes and stuff in, so they can operate safely in the man hole so they can secure the wiring and do everything they need to do to get the lights back on.”

Stevenson said there were no injuries or other damage to buildings as a result of the explosion. As of 2 p.m. Bland Street, Raleigh Street, and Commerce Street were reopened.


BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — 5/27/20 2 p.m.: Dispatchers in Mercer County released new information in connection with an underground explosion that led to an evacuation in Bluefield, WV. Roads were reopened in the area as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Crews with Appalachian Power are still on the scene. The cause of the explosions has not determined.


5/27/2020 11:15 a.m. – Emergency responders are evacuating buildings within two blocks of Bland Street from the Summit Bank building to Raleigh Street. Firefighters said this is on both sides of the street. Traffic is being blocked as well.

Bluefield, WV Police and Bluefield firefighters are directing the evacuation.

According to firefighters with the Bluefield Fire Department this began with an explosion in a manhole near Kammers furniture store. There were two additional explosions. Crews shut down gas and electric in the area. There is no word on what caused the explosion. At this time they are checking everything to find the source.


5/27/2020 11:08 a.m. UPDATE: Dispatchers said a power surge also happened in the area, but did not confirm if it was related to the underground explosion.

Bland Street is completely shut down at this time, as well as some portions of Raleigh Street.

59News has a crew at the scene. We will keep you posted on further updates, as this story develops.


BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — 5/27/2020 10:51 a.m. ORIGINAL STORY: First responders are at the scene of a reported underground explosion in Bluefield, Mercer County.

Dispatchers confirmed the first round of calls came in just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Bluefield Fire is blocking off the 400-block of Bland Street for what dispatchers described an “underground explosion.” The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.

No injuries were reported, but Bluefield Police is directing traffic around the area, which sits across from the Kammer Furniture Store. Bluefield Rescue and firefighters from Bluefield (Virginia) and Green Valley are assisting at the scene.

Stick with 59 News as this story continues to develop.

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