Durham city centre underground explosion caused by 'cable fault after heavy rainfall'

A section of pavement on Crossgate in Durham City Centre is cordoned off this afternoon following an underground explosion near Framwellgate Bridge. Emergency services were in attendance and no one was injured
-Credit: (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

An underground explosion caused by an electrical cable fault closed a section of Durham city centre today after witnesses reported seeing flames coming from beneath the pavement.

Emergency services were called shortly after 12.30pm to North Road, close to Framwellgate Bridge, following reports of an underground explosion. A section of the pavement was damaged and a nearby building sustained smoke damage to the brickwork.

Officers from Durham Constabulary attended the scene and closed a small section of the street to shoppers while colleagues from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue made the area safe. Police and fire crews have now stood down and the cordon has been lifted.

Police reported how witnesses said they could see flames coming from the underground explosion. Northern Powergrid confirmed that the explosion was due to an underground cable fault, as a result of the recent heavy rainfall.

No one was injured during the incident, police confirmed.

A spokesperson for Northern Powergrid said: "At 12:51 on Friday 24 May, we were alerted to an incident on the North Road area of Durham.

"Our engineers attended the area, and we can confirm that this was due to an underground cable fault, as a result of the recent heavy rainfall.

"We can confirm that there were no injuries as a result of the fault, and no customers are currently without power. We'd like to thank our customers for making us aware, and for their patience whilst we work in the area to safely repair the fault."

A County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) spokesperson said: "We were called at 12.34pm today (May 24) to reports of a small explosion under the pavement on North Road in Durham city centre.

"Crews from Durham Fire Station attended the incident. Our crew made the area safe using a cordon, before handing the incident over to our colleagues from Northern Powergrid just after 2:15pm."