SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A non-electrified metal cable fell from its moorings on power transmission towers in University City Wednesday and draped a few feet over state Route 52, causing several traffic accidents and briefly closing the freeway.
A small gas explosion that occurred during a utility-pipeline maintenance job in the area may have caused the steel-and-aluminum line to come down across the freeway near Interstate 805 about 9:45 a.m., according to San Diego Gas & Electric.
As motorists hit their brakes to try to avoid the cable, a vehicle rear-ended a Buick sedan driven by a woman in her early 80s, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Moments later, a big rig entering westbound SR-52 from southbound I-805 hit the utility line and dragged it down the connector, tightening the slack and pulling it up and out of the way of oncoming vehicles, CHP spokesman Art Athans said. Traffic then began to return to free-flow conditions, he said.
Medics took the woman who had been driving the Buick to Sharp Memorial Hospital for a precautionary evaluation, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. No one else was transported for medical care, he said.
It was not immediately clear if the gas-pipe blast snapped the cable, which is a type of line that serves as a ground for lightning strikes and also holds bright-orange spheres alongside power lines as visual warnings for pilots, authorities said.
The cause of the mishap was under investigation, according to SDG&E.
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