Metro Vancouver pump station on White Rock's Marine Drive

Big bang no cause for alarm

Fire crews were dispatched to Metro Vancouver’s Marine Drive pump station after a circuit breaker triggered

A “horrendous” bang that reverberated from White Rock’s West Beach Wednesday night was not an explosion, the city’s fire chief said.

Fire crews were dispatched to Metro Vancouver’s pump station at the foot of Oxford Street around 8 p.m. June 22, after a circuit breaker triggered, Chief Phil Lemire said.

“It essentially sounds like a gunshot,” Lemire said Thursday. “All it’s doing is disconnecting the power.”

Lemire did not know what caused the breaker to blow. It is in place to disconnect power to the transformer that services the pump station in the event of a problem.

BC Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer said Friday the problem was “an underground equipment failure in a junction box.” The circuit was repaired, however, what caused the failure was not determined, she said.

One area resident said the noise had some wondering if the building could blow up. It drew dozens of people out of their homes to find out what had happened, said Tim Shields, who heard the noise while walking on North Bluff Road. Fire crews set up large fans to air out the pump house, Shields said.

Lemire confirmed a similar incident two weeks ago, but said residents have nothing to worry about.

“The safeties work… so it doesn’t overload and cause an issue,” Lemire said.

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