An underground explosion popped a heavy manhole cover three feet into the air at the busy intersection of Beverly and La Cienega boulevards in West Los Angeles this morning, sparking a small fire and knocking out electrical power in the huge Beverly Center retail complex for 28 minutes.
There were no reports of injuries, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman. Five companies of firefighters were dispatched, but the small fire had burned itself out by the time they arrived. The explosion, apparently in an underground vault containing electrical equipment, occurred at 9:43 a.m. The power outage caused only minor inconvenience in the shopping center, a spokeswoman said.