IPL says cable caused underground explosions downtown

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IPL crews will be on scene all night repairing an underground cable that failed on Market Street and caused a manhole cover there to blow off.

It happened just after 8 p.m. Friday near Market and Delaware near the City-County Building.

No one was hurt, but for at least an hour, fire crews had a four-block radius sectioned off to avoid people walking into a possibly dangerous situation.

"We had active smoke and flames coming from it on arrival," said IFD Private Brad Morris.

It's a busy weekend downtown, with the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament going on at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and ComicCon at the Convention Center, not to mention St. Patrick's Day celebrations. That could potentially put thousands at risk if a manhole cover would explode at the wrong time.

"We had quite a bit of pedestrian traffic when we arrived, but fortunately with the manpower we had on the scene here, we were able to keep people back and for the most part, people have been understanding and cooperative," added Morris.

IPL and Citizens Gas were on the scene to investigate what might have caused the manhole cover to blow.

This isn't the first time this has happened. In the past, underground power cables have malfunctioned and caught on fire causing problems.

IPL said it will have to shut off power along a part of Market Street to replace the underground cable that malfunctioned and caught on fire.