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MP John Hemming calls for investigation into exploding manhole covers

Yardley MP John Hemming has called on utility companies to investigate the growing rise of exploding manhole covers after one narrowly missed a two year old girl.

Mr Hemming said that there were under ten reported exploding manhole covers a year a few years ago rising to more than 60 last year.

I have written to OpenReach (BT), Western Power (the MEB) and National Grid to pin down what is going on and why when the same thing happened at the same location 9 months ago that it still happened again.

Although it is good to report that no-one was hurt in this instance, people have been hurt on other occasions. The HSE raised the issue with the utilities companies last year, but it is unclear that this has resulted in the right action.

I have put in a parliamentary question about this and will keep constituents in touch with the outcomes.

– MP John Hemming

Karen Mhlanga was walking along Warwick Road in Acocks Green with her parents Sanele and Francis, when the metal covers flew up from the ground.

The National Grid say they're investigating the explosion, on Thursday, January 22, but they have ruled out a gas escape.

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Gary Rowett on banishing the blues from the Blues

Gary Rowett, the manager of Birmingham City FC, has spoken to our reporter Steve Clamp about how he's banished the blues from the Blues.

"I'm quite a positive character, the people around me are as well. When I came in, I didn't mention the 8-0 defeat, I didn't mention anything about what I'd done before.

"I said, 'Listen, you'll get judged on what we do going forward, and if you give me everything you've got, I'll take everything else.'

"I want to encourage people to be brave."

– Gary Rowett
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