MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Security cameras captured the explosion that knocked out power to part of Downtown Mobile Wednesday morning.

It happened around 8 a.m. at the Mobile County Annex Building next to Mobile Government Plaza.

Alabama Power said the problem was related to a switchgear failure. The video shows flames and thick smoke rising from the ground after the blast.

Power restored after outage in downtown Mobile

No injuries were reported but the building was evacuated. The explosion knocked out power in the area for 90 minutes.

The power company said its crews are working on making long-term repairs. Alabama Power said it is also trying to find out what caused the equipment failure.


Scary moments in downtown Mobile just after morning rush hour Wednesday.

Emergency crews answer a report of an explosion and at least one building was evacuated.

It happened outside the Mobile Courthouse Annex.

Video from a surveillance camera on the county courthouse annex building showed what happened around 8:45 Wednesday morning.

People in nearby buildings and outside heard and felt it.

Andrea Holcombe said, "I heard a big old explosion and the whole building shook."

Ron Reams said, "There was this huge bang.  It reminded me of a sonic boom like an airplane."

Alabama Power officials said it was a failure of underground electrical equipment.

That was enough to force the evacuation of the annex and knock put power to several buildings and street lights.

Margie Pruden said she was working on the third floor of the annex.

Pruden said, "All of a sudden, we heard a big explosion.  I thought it was a bomb.  Then we saw a big plume of grey smoke.  Then, next thing we knew, they were ushering us out of the building."

Reams was working in the annex and also evacuated to the sidewalk.

He said, "But the people kept coming toward us and said the manhole cover down there just blown off."

Holcombe said she was in the Hampton Inn when power went out.

She said, "I started to run. I did run for my life. I thought it was an earthquake. It was so loud."

Alabama Power officials said about 300 customers were out of power for about 45 minutes.

Because she was uncertain about what happened, Pruden says it was a nerve wracking time.

Pruden said, "It was kind of panicky because we couldn't take the elevator.  We all had to go down the stairs and everybody was rushing and, I can't walk that fast, and the people were saying, 'Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry,' you know, because nobody really knew exactly what was going on."

There were no reports of anyone hurt and Alabama Power officials said crews have been making long term repairs while they investigate what caused the equipment failure.

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