Gas Leaking in South L.A. Neighborhood After Underground Vault Explosion

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A vault explosion is seen in an image from a YouTube video in South Los Angeles on Sept. 6, 2017. (Credit: Cesar Flores)

A vault explosion is seen in an image from a YouTube video in South Los Angeles on Sept. 6, 2017. (Credit: Cesar Flores)

Gas is leaking in a South Los Angeles neighborhood on Thursday after an underground vault exploded, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Gas levels are above normal along Brynhurst Avenue between 64th Street and Hyde Park Boulevard and residents are being advised to temporarily stay inside their homes, the Department said.

The gas was originally determined to be natural gas but the Fire Department later issued a statement that meters used at the scene cannot differentiate between methane and natural gas.

The SoCal Gas Company is collecting samples to be tested to determine the chemical make-up of the gas, the Department added.

A vault in the 6200 block of South Brynhurst Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood exploded on Wednesday afternoon leaving a large hole in the middle of the street. At least two man-hole covers appeared to have been blown off.

No injuries were reported but the explosion did damage one SUV in the area. One resident told KTLA the explosion felt like a “mini earthquake.”

Authorities with the Fire Department initially believed the explosion was the result of an electrical malfunction, but representatives with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power found no evidence of an electrical event or disruption to electrical service.

LADWP crews are continuing to inspect the circuits and LAFD and SoCal Gas officials are investigating the cause of the explosion, authorities added.

Brynhurst Avenue is closed to traffic from 63rd Street to Hyde Park Avenue.

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