Five firefighters and one civilian were injured Wednesday after multiple manholes exploded and created what fire officials called “a small flash smoke explosion.”
According to FDNY Deputy Assistant Commissioner Michael Ajello, FDNY firefighters arrived on scene at East 32nd Street in the Flatiron District and found multiple smoking manholes.
“We began examining surrounding buildings for carbon monoxide or anything that shouldn’t be there,” Ajello said on @FDNY’s Twitter account Wednesday afternoon.
The explosions happened on 32nd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues just before 10 a.m. Videos taken after the eruptions showed smoke billowing from the street as New York fire fighters responded to the site. Nearby buildings lost power after hearing the booms, according to ABC7.
While examining the scene, a small flash smoke explosion broke out, injuring the firefighters and a civilian, Ajello said. They suffered non-life-threatening injuries, and were taken to local hospitals for treatment.
More than 100 firefighters responded to the 3-alarm fire, which was still burning underground by the afternoon, the Daily News reported. Fire officials did not say what caused the explosions.
At least one building on 32nd Street was evacuated due to concerns over high levels of carbon monoxide. Firefighters remained on scene until all the power was cut and buildings were deemed safe, Ajello said.
The explosions also caused street closures and traffic delays in the area.