Three manholes exploded in Times Square Sunday night, triggering fear as smoke rose from streets in the heart of Manhattan and sending crowds scrambling in any direction away from the loud bangs caused by the blasts, authorities say.
Two police officers were taken to a hospital for ringing in their ears, but no other injuries were reported in the trio of blasts near 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue shortly before 8 p.m.
Firefighters responding to the scene found elevated carbon monoxide levels at a building on West 229th Street and worked to ease the situation in the cellar and subcellar before turning the scene over to utility crews.
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Con Edison confirmed at least one manhole explosion was because of a cable fire. No other details on the cause were immediately available early Monday.
Joseph Romero, a comedy show worker in the area at the time of the explosions, says he heard the loud bangs and started to run like many others.
He took video of the aftermath of one of the explosions that shows him in a large crowd, shoulder to shoulder, trying to move out of the way.