Electrical Issue Forces Evacuation of Westwood Mall

By: WILX Email
By: WILX Email

Blackman Township police were on the scene at the Westwood Mall after an underground electrical issue caused an explosion just after 6 p.m. Thursday.

Officers tell News 10 high tension from an electrical line caused a combustible gas explosion.

Police had said earlier Thursday that it may have been a gas leak; they now tell News 10 natural gas was not involved.

Consumers Energy has determined the issue is not hazardous.

Police tell News 10 flames were shooting six to 10 feet in the air out of two manhole covers in the rear portion of the mall parking lot, causing the covers to leave the ground.

The mall was evacuated and will remain closed for the rest of Thursday evening as a precaution.

Consumers Energy crews are inspecting each manhole as they search for the cause of the electrical issue.

A power outage resulted. Nine Consumers Energy customers, all of which are stores or businesses, are without power as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday. A spokesman for Consumers Energy tells News 10 power is expected to be restored by Friday morning.

Walmart has switched to a separate electrical source and power inside has been restored, according to Consumers Energy.

No one was hurt.

Blackman-Leoni Public Safety says there was no bomb threat.

Fire crews had been on the scene.

We will continue to update you as we learn more information.

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