Some 230 residents in a Whalley neighbourhood were left in the dark Thursday when one of Surrey's new waste management collection trucks snagged some power lines, resulting in an explosion and electrical fire.
The incident occurred at around 10 a.m. in Whalley near 102nd Avenue and Semiahmoo Road when one of the new waste collection trucks, operated by Progressive Waste Solutions, was attempting to collect waste from a residence near some low-lying power lines.
According to eyewitness Derek Setchfield, the truck was in the middle of picking up a waste bin when it got caught on the wires.
"I went out on my lawn to watch the first pickup of the new bin and about three blocks away, a truck was picking one up and hit the wire, snapped the pole and there was an explosion as loud as dynamite," recalled Setchfield. "The whole street was covered in smoke and when it cleared the pole was on top of the truck and the transformer was on the ground burning."
Shortly afterwards, crews from the Surrey Fire Service and BC Hydro made it to the scene and were able to contain the situation.
"There were no injuries and the driver managed to evacuate the scene safely," said Karen Fry, deputy chief for the Surrey Fire Service. "The wires had come down from multiple residence so once Hydro got on scene and procured it they, cut off the power because they were live."
Fry noted that scorch marks were left on the house as a result.
According to a BC Hydro spokesperson, power was restored later that evening.
"The work required (was) quite extensive," said the spokesperson. "There were wires down, a pole down and a transformer down. So they (needed) to replace all of that."