Fans of the classic TV sitcom “M*A*S*H” will remember Corporal Max Klinger talking lovingly about his hometown –Toledo, Ohio – and its minor league baseball team, the Mudhens. Klinger may not have tried so hard to go home in 2015 after hearing about the mysterious underground booms that have occurred recently in Toledo – five in the past month - with no explanation from officials. What’s happening under Toledo?
According to local media reports, the booms started on June 15th in downtown Toledo when there was an underground explosion on Summit Street which caused an underground fire. No explanation was given for the incident. Since then, underground explosions and subsequent fires have occurred in downtown Toledo on Adams Street, Madison, and Washington. Again, no explanations were given for the booms and fires and media coverage was limited. Why?
That wasn’t the case on July 14th when a much larger explosion was heard on Madison. Heavy smoke poured out of manhole covers and sewers and building were evacuated on Madison and two adjacent streets. The Toledo Fire Department said the explosion, fire and smoke came from an underground electrical pit, but Battalion Chief Brent Wettle was at a loss (or possibly under a gag order) when asked to explain the cause.
We don't know. There were initial reports of a lightning strike. However, it was during a rain storm as well, so when you get a lot of water in those pits that can cause a short in the wiring, it could possibly be that as well.
Lightning? A short? We don’t know? Those aren’t comforting words to residents of Ohio’s fourth largest city - one that is struggling to keep them from leaving. Local media referred to the five-in-one-month chain of unexplained underground explosions as “bizarre” and was getting no answers from the city of Toledo nor Toledo Edison.
Will residents of Toledo get some answers on the mysterious booms before it’s too late? Why are officials refusing to talk about them? If they don’t, Corporal Klinger would say this to them:
May the mother of your camels spit in your yogurt!