A massive manhole explosion rocked the East Village Sunday afternoon, sending New Yorkers running, according to eyewitnesses.
After locals reported hearing an explosion, large black plumes of smoke could be observed wafting out of a manhole near 14th Street and 3rd Avenue, right outside of Trader Joe’s, at around 4 p.m. on April 2.
“I was walking, and I heard a loud crash. People started running and covering their mouths,” an 18-year-old witness named Angelina told amNewYork Metro. Angelina, who declined to give her last name, said she was walking home from working out at her local gym when the manhole erupted.
“They probably thought there was an attack or someone was shooting because it was by Union Square,” she said.
Firefighters and EMS swarmed the block as police cordoned-off the area to traffic. Locals watched on in shock as loud, electrical cracks continued to emanate from the manhole.
Con Edison officials arrived on scene about 30 minutes after the explosion, at which time firefighters began hosing down the smog. However, this resulted in a series of flames shooting upward.
Officials have yet to comment on the cause of the fire and are continuing work to contain it. The public is asked to remain clear of the area until the fire is brought under control.