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Underground explosion knocks out power for 1,400 people in downtown Dartmouth

A section of Portland Street between Dundas and Wentwork Streets was cordoned off as crews work to repair the damage. Alex Cooke/Global News

Power has been mostly restored after about 1,400 Nova Scotia Power customers were left in the dark after an underground explosion in downtown Dartmouth.

Halifax Regional Police cordoned off a section of Portland Street as Nova Scotia Power crews made repairs Saturday morning. A police officer at the site said a transformer had exploded.

The street has since reopened.

According to the Nova Scotia Power outage map, the cause of the outage was due to “damaged underground equipment.”

As of 4 p.m., power remained out for about 45 customers in the area, according to the utility’s outage map.

The owner of The Dart Gallery says power outages are a regular occurrence. Alex Cooke/Global News

Jane MacDougald, the owner of The Dart Gallery in downtown Dartmouth, says she heard two loud bangs around 7:30 a.m. More came about an hour later, and Halifax Regional Police and Halifax Fire showed up shortly after and roped off Portland Street from Dundas to Wentworth Streets.

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“There was some smoke coming out of the grate as well,” she said.

MacDougald said she’s heard similar explosions before in the same location right outside her store. While the last explosion happened about a year ago, she said power outages are a regular occurrence.

“They’ve had to come attend to this particular site several times,” she said. “Not just with explosions, but with other maintenance too.”

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