the exterior of the DWP building in downtown los angeles
The iconic Department of Water and Power (DWP) building in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

A recent explosion beneath a South Los Angeles street was not caused by any failure of electrical equipment, but by elevated levels of methane gas detected in the soil nearby, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Friday.

No one was injured by the Sept. 6 explosion in the 6200 block of South Brynhurst Avenue in Hyde Park, but debris was strewn along the street and two manholes were sent flying.

Representatives of the LADWP and the SoCal Gas Co. said at the time they didn’t know what caused the explosion, but above-normal levels of methane or natural gas were located in the area a day later and residents were told to remain indoors until crews got a handle on the problem.

The latest information released by the LADWP said subsurface readings taken by the SoCal Gas Co. on Saturday indicated elevated levels of methane in the soil  in one location on Brynhurst Avenue located approximately two blocks away from the explosion site.

LADWP workers also detected natural gas at the site of the explosion and advised SoCalGas of the results.

SoCal Gas said it is replacing a section of pipe in the area and multiple venting tubes have been installed in the surrounding areas.

The LADWP also said the high-voltage electric cables in the area were not damaged and continued to supply power to the grid before, during and after the explosion, although they have been turned off as SoCal Gas workers isolate and clean up the gas in the area.

There will be no disruption to electric service to customers due to the cables  removed from service, according to the LADWP.

–City News Service

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