[symple_googlemap title=”La Tijera and Sepulveda boulevards” location=”La Tijera and Sepulveda boulevards” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

An apparent explosion in an underground electrical vault in Westchester knocked out power for about 450 customers and jammed traffic Tuesday around Los Angeles International Airport just as the number of travelers was increasing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sepulveda Boulevard was closed between Manchester and Sepulveda Eastway, while La Tijera was closed from Sepulveda Way to Sepulveda Boulevard — creating headaches for some motorists trying to reach nearby LAX.

The blast occurred just before noon near La Tijera and Sepulveda boulevards, said Kim Hughes of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Smoke was seen emanating from a displaced manhole cover, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. No one was injured.

Hughes said crews de-energized a circuit in order to work on it, which resulted in the interruption of service to about 450 customers in the area. The repair effort was continuing early Tuesday afternoon, and DWP officials estimated it would take until about 9 p.m. to have the issue fixed.

–Staff and Wire Reports 

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