Manhole Explosion Sends Carbon Monoxide into Manhattan Building, Forcing Evacuation: FDNY

An apartment building in Manhattan was evacuated Monday evening after a nearby manhole explosion sent smoke into the building, raising carbon monoxide levels inside, the FDNY said.

A manhole exploded near the five-story building at Washington Avenue and West 163rd Street in Washington Heights at about 5:30 p.m., the FDNY said.

About three hours later, firefighters were called to the building for possible carbon monoxide exposure, and they confirmed elevated CO levels there, according to the FDNY. 

About 100 residents were taken out of the building and taken to a nearby shelter. Four people were treated on location after showing minor symptoms of CO poisoning, said the FDNY. 

It's not clear what caused the manhole explosion, but weather has been a factor in several other similar incidents Monday. In Brooklyn, two people were hurt when a manhole cover flew into the air; that explosion was caused when ice-melting road salt seeped under the cover and sparked wires underneath, according to Consolidated Edison. 

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