Video: Times Square manhole explosion causes panic
NEW YORK - What began as a normal Sunday evening in Times Square turned into mass chaos after a manhole explosion and fire sent hundreds of people running.
A loud bang was heard around 7 p.m., and several videos posted to social media showed people panicking and running down the street.
Men, women, and children were seen sprinting away from the area on 7th Ave., not sure where to go.
Manhole explosion in Times Square
Con Edison confirmed that one manhole exploded in the Times Square area due to cable failure and that a second manhole was smoking.
The area around West 43rd Street & 7th Avenue was closed off as the FDNY worked to deal with three manhole fires.
"It was loud, loud," one witness told FOX 5 News.
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Firefighters also found one property on West 43rd Street with elevated carbon monoxide levels and aired out the lower levels of the building.
Despite the shock, no one was reportedly injured and no property was damaged. Everything was back to normal in the busy tourist area by 9 p.m.
Manhole fires more than doubled in New York City from fiscal year 2020 to 2021, jumping to 6,104 last year, according to the Mayor's Management report released last year.
Manhole fires often occur when gas builds up underground and is ignited by an electrical short circuit, sending an explosion through the path of least resistance, which is usually a manhole, according to Fire Engineering magazine.
FOX News contributed to this report.