Crews respond to underground explosion on Mass Ave.

Grate in photo is where witnesses say 'explosion' came from on March 16, 2015 (WISH Photo/Jeff Wagner)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Emergency crews were on the scene in the 400 block of Massachusetts Avenue downtown for a reported underground explosion.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department states that multiple calls came in reporting smoke and an explosion at 8:42 p.m. Monday.

IMPD closed Mass Ave between Michigan Street and Alabama Avenue while crews investigated.

The Indianapolis Power & Light Company said there were reports of people smelling gas, then a loud bang and flash occurred.

IPL said below the grate is a vault where transformers are located. They said a primary oil chamber in the vault failed. A crew will go underground to investigate further.

Crews reported that a primary oil chamber within the vault failed. IPL is investigating the reason for the failure.

Mass Avenue was busy with people enjoying the nice weather, but luckily there were no reports of injuries.

Joe Elliott was inside the Sub-Zero Ice Cream shop across the street when it happened.

“All of a sudden we heard this explosion,” Elliott said. “We turned around and I saw a bunch of leaves shoot up from the ground. Thought we saw a little bit of a fire shoot up. People started calling 911 and all of a sudden a bunch of fire trucks showed up.”

No power outages were reported but IPL said it’s possible some could occur as they investigate underground.

IPL said this incident involving the vault is not related to previous incidents involving manhole covers exploding.

Mass Ave. closed down due to incident on March 16, 2015 (WISH Photo/Scott Hums)
Mass Ave. closed down due to incident on March 16, 2015 (WISH Photo/Scott Hums) provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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