Five manholes blew on the Upper East Side Monday, sending some bystanders scurrying from the booms.
The block on East 97th Street between Park and Madison avenues was shut down to traffic for a time after the manholes blew, sending smoke billowing into the air and leaving a lingering smell of electrical fire.
Fire officials were pouring water down the holes. Con Edison crews also responded.
Authorities say equipment failure may be to blame for the blasts, but the cause remains under investigation. Weather is not believed to have been a factor.
No injuries were reported, but some cars in the area were damaged.