An explosion was heard in New York City’s Times Square shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday night. Police have cordoned off the area. It’s reported that these were manhole cover explosions, and there are reports of three manhole fires close to West 43rd Street and Broadway.

There are no reports of injuries at this time.

One video captured the moment an explosion was heard, with a woman running wildly away from the scene and visibly shaken by what she heard.

Editor’s note: The video in this tweet contains profanity.

Another video captured in Times Square doesn’t have audio of any explosions, but it shows many people running wild in the streets.

The New York City Fire Department said there are no injuries, and that they are searching properties in the immediate area for elevated carbon monoxide levels, according to CBS New York reporter Lisa Rozner.

New York City Times Square
People visit Times Square on March 31, 2022.
Photo by Eduardo Munoz/VIEWpress via Getty Images

Firefighters eventually found elevated levels at an 18-story office building on 229 W. 43rd Street, and they were last seen venting that location.

A Con Edison spokesperson said the manhole fires were caused by cable failure.

“One manhole exploded in the Times Square area this evening due to cable failure, and a second manhole was smoking. At this time, there have been no customer outages, and no reports of injuries or property damage. Our crews remain on location,” the spokesperson told several local outlets.

Although it seems to be merely a fireblown explosion below the New York City Streets that shook manholes and sent fire and smoke above, folks didn’t take it lightly. It sent them into a scurrying panic as if there were an actual bomb going off in the popular tourist spot.

Lavier Pounds, who was near the scene when the explosion and aftermath when it happened, told CBS2 she was discombobulated with what happened.

“Once I seen the fire, the cops are telling me to back up. I slowly start backing up, but still I started, like, then again, I started proceeding, like, to the fire and then it actually exploded right in front of me and that’s when I was just, like, I started running,” Pounds said.

Thalia Perez, who was in town from California, lost track of time and ran late to catch her bus when the big boom happened.

“We just missed it. We missed the bus, and it’s just, like, five minutes of walking and that’s when the big, loud, loud. I mean, I’m still kind of nervous and shaking,” Perez said.

Manhole covers might look rather nondescript while blending into streets, each can weigh between 200-300 pounds. There are more than 350,000 manhole covers across NYC’s five burroughs because of the city’s intricate underground system of water, wastewater and now telecommunications companies.





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