But walking to the park earlier I heard a muffled thud and scattering debris up ahead. When I got there, a section of the path about a metre in diameter and half as deep was smoldering away like a dud shell had landed, with a strong smell of (what turned out to be) burnt insulation and a scorch mark on the wall.
Two neighbors came running out and not sure what the cause was decided it should be a 999 call for a possible gas explosion.
That resulted in the police, fire service and gas board arriving very quickly. It was then passed on the the electricity board people.
I have 3 phase electricity for a sewage pump. Last year two phases fused about 300 yards away and it took a long time to find it, as neighbours with single phase were not out. The SSE kept deliberately causing shorts in the main and went around literally sniffing drains in the road to locate the fault. Took a long time and blew my pump due to phase failure.
In London alone there are 100,000 electrical junction boxes under the pavements, and about 36,000km of underground cable.
So far this year there have been 12 significant sub-pavement explosions, either in the boxes or junctions themselves, or explosions caused by a gas leak being ignited by an electrical spark.
UK Power Networks carry out continuous rolling test programme, and they're investing heavily in new testing technology. In the meantime it's reassuring to know that it's actually quite rare for anyone to be injured in these incidents - most of the explosions stay underground.
When this topic hit the news with live video of an event in London, there was much discussion in the gym locker rom, one of the throng an 82 year old ws in fact a cable an for the former CEGB - he had quite a few tales to relate- as FE related a comon event by all accounts.