News Manhole fires, explosion in midtown injure 6; buildings evacuated, FDNY says The explosion rattled 32nd Street between Fifth and Madison avenues around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the FDNY. Manhole fires and an explosion in midtown on Wednesday injured six people and forced several building evacuations, fire officials said. Photo Credit: Alison Fox By Lauren Cook and Alison Fox email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org @L_Cook865 Updated April 24, 2019 6:13 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Six people were injured and several evacuations were ordered Wednesday following a series of manhole fires that sparked a small explosion in the cellar of a building in midtown, the FDNY said. The explosion rattled 6 E. 32nd St., between Fifth and Madison Avenues, around 11 a.m., according to fire officials. Firefighters had been on the scene for just over an hour, battling the manhole fires and testing the air for toxins, when the explosion occurred, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello said. The fires were brought under control just before 4:20 p.m., according to the FDNY. "[We] began to do our examination of the surrounding buildings for carbon monoxide, natural gas … While conducting that investigation, a small flash smoke explosion happened in that same address," Ajello said of the blast. Manhole fire and explosion and fire at 32nd strret midtown manhattan ny. Happening now pic.twitter.com/AEtqEUdYis— RedCat (@RedCat01766062) April 24, 2019 It's believed that the manhole fires and a buildup of carbon monoxide contributed to the explosion, an FDNY spokesman said. “There’s a point of entry for the electrical service underground, which is in a metal conduit, which brings the electric into the building," Ajello explained. "The products of combustion from that fire also entered through that point." Parth Shah, 22, was working at a newsstand on Fifth Avenue near the corner of 32nd Street when he said he suddenly heard "only the blast — boom!" Five firefighters and a building superintendent from 6 E. 32nd St. suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, per the FDNY. Manhole explosion on East 32nd!!!! pic.twitter.com/Lbn6GS2hCg— Nick Newman (@Nick_Newman) April 24, 2019 Two buildings — 16 32nd St. and 12 32nd St. — were evacuated as a precaution, according to Ajello and another fire official. Investigators believe the fire, which affected four or five manholes, started in Con Edison wiring and infrastructure under the roadway. "The carbon monoxide levels were high... and now we have them back way down," Ajello added. By Lauren Cook and Alison Fox email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org @L_Cook865 Lauren joined amNY.com as a news editor in 2016. Previously, she worked as a web producer at CBS New York and News 12. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.