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Traffic Alert: Two People Injured, Traffic Snarled by Manhole Explosion in Dupont Circle

Two people were injured and traffic at Dupont Circle was slowed Monday after a Pepco contractor accidentally touched a live wire in an electrical vault on 19th Street NW, authorities said.

Bob Hainey, a spokesman for Pepco said two contractors employed by the C.W. Wright Co. were working underground, pulling old wires around lunch time when one of the men inadvertently grabbed hold of a live wire and suffered an electrical shock. He suffered facial burns. Hainey is not sure what happened after that.

D.C. Deputy Fire Chief Ken Crosswhite said the accident caused an explosion and the second worker suffered smoke inhalation. Hainey said there was no explosion. Crosswhite said the first man's burns caused a critical injury. Crosswhite said the vault contains various feeds of high voltage. It's unclear what caused the explosion.

Traffic in the area is being redirected because parts of 19th Street and the Dupont traffic circle have been closed. Westbound Massachusetts Ave. must go north on 18th St. near the circle and is backed up from Scott Circle. Drivers should use K St. or Pennsylvania Ave. to circumvent the problems. Connecticut Ave. remains open under the circle.

-- By Maria Glod and Paul Duggan

Road Essentials: Incident Map | Traffic Cams | Key Routes

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 24, 2009; 12:07 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories  
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