Manhole Cover Blasts Off in Center City

Two separate underground blasts caused at least one manhole cover to blow off and Philadelphia Police to block off a major intersection this morning.

The first transformer exploded around 3 a.m. Friday at 15th and Market Streets in Center City.

As officers investigated the first blast, they saw the second one occur at 15th and Market. After the manhole cover blew off, smoke could be seen coming from the hole, according to officers on the scene.

Philadelphia Firefighters got the situation under control after about an hour. And PECO crews were on the scene since they own the two transformers that caught fire.

Luckily no one was hurt.

Police blocked off the intersection and surrounding roads and sidewalks as the investigation continued. SEPTA also detoured buses around the scene and the trolley lines were bypassing the 15th Street stop.

Those restrictions were slowly lifted and by 5:15 a.m. traffic was getting by on Market Street and some lanes along 15th Street near City Hall. The incident was mostly cleared by the morning rush.

No power outages were reported, according to PECO.

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