Apparent Underground Vault Explosion Temporarily Cuts Power at South Coast Plaza on Black Friday

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An apparent underground electrical vault explosion took power out to parts of South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, leaving shoppers in the dark for almost two hours during the Black Friday rush.

Smoke is seen during an underground vault explosion that took power out at South Coast Plaza on Nov. 29, 2019. (Credit: @uscsneakers/ Instagram)
Smoke is seen during an underground vault explosion that took power out at South Coast Plaza on Nov. 29, 2019. (Credit: @uscsneakers/ Instagram)

Cellphone video shows flames and smoke shooting out of an underground vault shortly before 2 p.m. as a loud exploding sound is heard.

Firefighters and Southern California Edison crews responded to the shopping mall after the outage forced stores to close during one of the busiest holiday shopping days.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department said firefighters received reports of a “electrical vault explosion.”

Edison spokesman David Song said that some equipment had failed and crews had to reroute the power source.

Online, shoppers at the mall reported not being able to pay for food and other items during the outage.

Power was fully restored at the mall at 4 p.m., Song said. Some stores still appeared closed by 7 p.m.

No injuries were reported during the incident, the Costa Mesa firefighters said.

It’s unclear what sparked the fire at the vault and no further details were available.

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