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In this paper some new observations on electrically induced damage in NaCl single crystals are presented. Microscopic studies made on surfaces normal and parallel to the applied electric field and inside the sample allowed us to determine the crystallographic and geometric characteristics of the breakdown channel, the nature of the different damaged zones around it, and their manifestations on the external surfaces of the sample. A mechanism based on the model of Bullough and Gilman is proposed to explain the experimental results. It is suggested that as a high amount of energy is transferred to the solid in a very short time compared with the elastic relaxation time, an interior implosion can be generated. An implosion of this kind would originate high‐intensity shock waves, which would be responsible for the observed damage by causing intense heating, sublimation and decomposition of the material, spallation, and cleavage.