Dramatic CCTV footage has captured the moment a mother and her two children were forced to run for their lives after a manhole cover exploded in a Northampton street.
A camera outside Abington Supermarket in Wellingborough Road filmed the moment an electrical fault caused the explosion in the pavement next to a cashpoint being used by the family.
The force of the blast ripped part of the newsagent’s shop sign down, which narrowly avoided colliding with the head of the young boy.
Emergency services were called out to the incident, near to the junction with Bostock Avenue, shortly after 8am on Tuesday and the mother was treated by the ambulance service. An East Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “An ambulance attended to treat a woman who had been walking in the area with two children when the cover flew into the air, but there were no serious injuries.”
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Fire Service said the cause of the explosion was an electrical fault in an underground box.
A large trench was built outside Abington Supermarket to allow workers from Western Power to fix the junction box. Western Power said that power would be cut to at least 90 properties in Northampton on Tuesday as the company carried out repairs.
A total of 90 properties were temporarily without power on Tuesday, with all electricity supplies switched back on by 4pm.
A spokesman for Western Power said: “We have conducted it in stages so as to minimise disruption as much as possible, but we apologise to residents for any inconvenience caused.”
The sound of the explosion was heard by residents in the town centre and Abington area. Wellingborough Road was temporarily closed after the incident but was fully reopened shortly afterwards.
Following the explosion, a total of 70 properties in Wellingborough Road and East Street were left without power and an additional 20 properties had power temporarily switched off.
Amanda Sekayena, who runs Ama Seka - which is next door to Abington Supermarket in Wellingborough Road where the manhole exploded - said she was glad that nobody was hurt in the incident but wanted the pavement to be fixed as soon as possible.
She said: “It is really affecting my trade as it makes it look like my shop is closed. My shop was not open at the time and I am glad nobody was hurt.
“It could have been a lot worse as there is no damage to my shop and it only brought down a part of the supermarket sign.”
Ms Sekayena, who had no power to her shop on Tuesday morning, said she had been told by Western Power that the repair work was due to be completed in the next couple of days.