Underground cable failure causes power outages in Washington Square

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PECO officials tell Action News power has been restored to all residents after an underground cable failure forced two families from their home, and caused dozens of outages in the Washington Square section of Philadelphia. (WPVI)

PECO officials tell Action News power has been restored to all residents after an underground cable failure forced two families from their home, and caused dozens of outages in the Washington Square section of Philadelphia.

The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

"I heard this big kaboom!" said Gaylor Holden.

PHOTOS: Washington Square explosion


PECO officials say an underground cable malfunctioned at 5th and Pine, which sounded like an explosion.

"I came out this morning to meet a friend for coffee, and there's 15 PECO trucks around here, and glass all over the side walk," said Holden.

"It literally went right in, and damaged the brick right in front of my house. All of our windows shattered here," said resident Michael DiPilla.

The impact caused some windows to shatter, and two families had to be evacuated for a few hours.

"We came out because there was a lot of activity and there had been a loud boom, and then they wanted to check our basement for carbon monoxide and then they told us to leave," said resident Dale Frank.

As PECO crews worked to restore electricity to a darkened block, Anthony Deca moved his son into the neighborhood this morning, with no power.

"When we got here the power was out, and they said there was an explosion," said Deca of King of Prussia.

"I just found out that I don't have power at my house at the moment, and I'm on the 500 block," said Linda Scale of Society Hill Civic Association.

Spotty restoration may be a nuisance, but it didn't slow the 500-plus people attending the Society Hill Civic Association's Historic Home Walking Tour.

"It turns out only that only three houses lost power," said Martha Levine, Society Hill Civic Association. "We tried to divert people to the end of the tour first. I think it worked out, and the power did go on."

PECO officials say a total of 50 customers were reportedly without power.

Power has since been restored to all residents, officials say.

No injuries were reported.

This incident comes a day after an underground explosion near 30th Street Station. That involved underground wires not related to PECO.

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