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Workman is almost engulfed by a fireball when electrics explode

Workman is almost engulfed by a fireball when an electrical blaze explodes on exclusive London street - and blows the hard hat off his head

  • The blast happened on Montague Street, Holborn, at 8.40am today 
  • A workman drags a piece of equipment away from a smoking hole in the ground
  • As he runs for safety, sparks begin to flash before a huge flame bursts upwards
  • Some 72 houses lost power and further 28 had electric switched off for safety

This is the heart-stopping moment a fireball exploded up from the pavement on an exclusive London street and knocked off the hard-hat of a nearby workman who was sprinting away.

The exclusive footage obtained by MailOnline from Montague Street, Holborn, shows the man desperately dragging a piece of equipment away from a cordoned-off hole in the ground which had smoke billowing out of it. 

As he scrambles away, sparks begin to flash inside the hole before a huge flame bursts upwards, sending the workman's hat clattering on to the pavement and leaving 100 homes without power. 

A fireball exploded out of a building site outside a property on Hoborn's exclusive Montague Street at 8.40am today

A fireball exploded out of a building site outside a property on Hoborn's exclusive Montague Street at 8.40am today

A fireball exploded out of a building site outside a property on Hoborn's exclusive Montague Street at 8.40am today

A witness to this morning's 8.40am explosion told MailOnline: 'The guys were climbing up the scaffolding when they saw there was a commotion across the road.

'They saw the smoke and the flames and then there was a lot more fire.

'Then it died down a little and the chap came running back to clear the equipment away when it exploded. 

'The fire blew his helmet right off - it went sailing across the street.

'They were absolutely crackers, going back to the fire. 

'The workmen returned to the fire several times to moves equipment and kept replacing the plastic barriers which repeatedly fell to the ground.

The source added: 'I don’t know what they were doing - trying to maintain safety? The fire brigade arrived a few minutes later.'  

Moments before the blast, the man is seen desperately dragging a piece of equipment away from a cordoned-off hole in the ground which smoke was billowing out of

Moments before the blast, the man is seen desperately dragging a piece of equipment away from a cordoned-off hole in the ground which smoke was billowing out of

Moments before the blast, the man is seen desperately dragging a piece of equipment away from a cordoned-off hole in the ground which smoke was billowing out of

As he scrambles away, sparks begin to flash inside the hole before a huge flame bursts upwards, sending the workman's hat clattering on to the pavement

As he scrambles away, sparks begin to flash inside the hole before a huge flame bursts upwards, sending the workman's hat clattering on to the pavement

As he scrambles away, sparks begin to flash inside the hole before a huge flame bursts upwards, sending the workman's hat clattering on to the pavement

The minute-long dramatic video begins by showing the workman, dressed in a high-vis jacket and trousers, pulling a large appliance away from the side of the property.

He then races along the edge of the pavement, around the red fence cordon, as the explosion bursts out the hole. 

His white hard-hat is blown off his head and crashes down on to the ground, where he quickly retrieves it.

While one of his colleagues rushes over, the workman scoops up another piece of equipment and pulls it clear of the blast zone.

But this tool is attached to another item by a cord running under the fence, and so when he pulls it, part of the cordon is knocked over. 

The plume of smoke continues to pump out of the hole as two more helmet-clad workers arrive to help move the rest of the tools away.

The workman narrowly escaped being hit by the blast and can be seen running from the scene, but he reportedly returned later to replace the barriers before the fire brigade turned up

The workman narrowly escaped being hit by the blast and can be seen running from the scene, but he reportedly returned later to replace the barriers before the fire brigade turned up

The workman narrowly escaped being hit by the blast and can be seen running from the scene, but he reportedly returned later to replace the barriers before the fire brigade turned up

Paul, 28, who also witnessed the explosion told MailOnline: 'It was amazing that nobody died.'

He added: 'The [surrounding] buildings' power has gone out and one lady who lives nearby came out screaming 'I have no electricity!' 

A UK Power Network spokesperson said: 'Our engineers are working quickly and safety to restore power to customers in the Montague Street area of London after third party damage to an underground cable around 9am this morning.

'An initial 72 properties lost electricity, with a further 28 having their supplies turned off for safety reasons during the repair. 

'Supplies have been restored in stages, and we will restore power to the final 39 customers as soon as possible.'

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