Several manholes erupted in flames in Hell's Kitchen on Sunday evening, causing subway lines to bypass the area and the evacuation of a theater performance of Jersey Boys.
Video posted to social media showed flames shooting high in the air and people running away. The manholes lit up on 50th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues.
The MTA said C and E trains were skipping the 50th Street station in both directions while police investigated the fire.
M. Eric Johnson said on Twitter that he was in the audience at New World Stages for a performance of Jersey Boys when an announcement said the show was on hold due to technical difficulties. He said the theater was evacuated shortly after 8 p.m.
Con Edison confirmed that at least three manholes were involved.
No one lost power as a result of the fires, Con Ed said.
The cause of the explosions wasn't known.