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Understanding and Preventing Manhole Explosions

May 3, 2023
Impacts of exploding manholes can be significant. When these cast iron discs are propelled in the air, they can cause injury, power disruption, release of carbon monoxide, and building evacuations. Early detection and prevention are the easiest path.

An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 manhole explosions and other events happen every year across the U.S., but often go unreported. About three in four of these events are caused by combustion sparked by a cable fault. Since more than 95 percent of the cable is hidden in the duct and not accessible by visual inspection, underground cables are left vulnerable. Osmose’s Power Survey is the most reliable detection method to survey for contact voltage in street-level structures, including manholes.        

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