Emergency crews respond to explosion, car fire near Granville Bridge

Emergency crews respond to explosion, car fire near Granville Bridge

Investigators are looking into a car fire and underground explosion that sent large chunks of concrete into the air near the Granville Street bridge in Vancouver.

Capt. Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire Rescue Services said crews received a call just after 3 p.m. of a car fire and explosion at Granville and Pacific streets.

He said the two incidents were about 30 metres apart, explaining there was a “significant explosion in what appears to be an underground utility vault.”

Pictures from the scene show exploded concrete on the ground, some of the debris causing extension body damage to one vehicle and minor damage to at least two others.

Investigators are working to determine if the two incidents are linked.

“The car that was involved in the fire was also above an access point to a utility vault,” he said. “So the fact that there’s an access point there, the car fire and then an explosion about 30 metres away in, again, what appears to be another utility vault, would lead us to believe the two are connected.”

There are no reports of injuries, Gormick says it’s lucky no one appears to have been nearby when the explosion happened, sending pieces of concrete into the air.

“These are large three (feet) by four (feet) chunks of concrete, probably about eight inches thick so you can imagine what force it took to move them,” he said.

When asked about a possible cause, Gormick said there is no sign of malicious activity and that the incident appears to be an accident.

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He added there is also no indication there were any utility crews carrying out work in the area at the time, but is confirming that with BC Hydro.

Sean Beardow with FortisBC Communications told CTV News a team was on site taking readings and measurements, but says the explosion is not natural gas related. 

Granville Street will remain closed between Pacific Street and Beach Avenue for the duration of the investigation and cleanup.

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