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Manhole Cover Explodes in Tyseley - twice!

There has been a growth recently in the number of reports of exploding Manhole Covers.   One in Tyseley exploded yesterday on the Warwick Road close to Tyseley station yesterday.  There are quite a few press reports about this including a video of a little girl who was almost hit by the cover.

The detail is in various press reports including this one.

I have been down to look into it.   When it exploded the lights went off with a power surge in at least one local shop.  That would imply that the explosion was linked to power supplies in some way.  However, the cover that flew off was actually from the telecoms manhole.  There were three manholes close together.    National Grid (gas) were down to look at the gas supplies and that was not an issue.

There has been a growth in such explosions from under 10 a year a few years ago to over 60 last year.  The normal cause is from decaying insulation caused by water on power cables.

I have written to OpenReach (BT), Western Power (the MEB) and National Grid to pin down what is going on and why when the same thing happened at the same location 9 months ago that it still happened again.

Although it is good to report that no-one was hurt in this instance, people have been hurt on other occasions.  The HSE raised the issue with the utilities companies last year, but it is unclear that this has resulted in the right action.

I have put in a parliamentary question about this and will keep constituents in touch with the outcomes.

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