Two manhole explosions disrupted business in Boston’s Financial District Thursday morning, with first responders evacuating two buildings and rushing at least one person to the hospital.
The manhole fires were reported around 8:30 am in the area of Summer and High streets, Boston police said. Video from the scene showed flames shooting out of one manhole, and authorities were still at the scene hours later.
Manhole explosions disrupted business in downtown Boston Thursday, with one woman hurt and two businesses disrupted.
Boston EMS said one person who was injured was taken by ambulance to Tufts Medical Center. A second was evaluated by medical staff at the scene but wasn’t taken to a hospital, an official told NBC Boston.
Boston fire officials said they responded to 10 High St. for two manhole fires that shattered the window of the office building. They said both 175 Federal St. and 10 High St. have been evacuated. They also said they were checking the surrounding buildings for any smoke and using meters to check for elevated levels of carbon monoxide.
After levels of the dangerous gas in those buildings become safe again, utility workers will go inside, Deputy Fire Chief Brian Tully said.
The fiery blasts were believed to have been caused by over pressurization underground, Tully said. One manhole cover was found several feet away from the opening; the woman who was injured was burned, possibly by steam, but she was able to walk to an ambulance.
“When we’re using a ton of electricity and power, the equipment’s just being overused, overtaxed,” Tully said, adding, “I believe the energy system in our city is safe.”
Electric utility Eversource also responded to assist with the investigation, spokesperson William Hinkle said. No utility crews were working in the area at the time, and no customers lost power, he said.
Traffic in the area was expected to be affected and motorists and pedestrians were being urged to avoid the area.
On-ramps to Interstate 93 were reopened after several hours of being closed, state police said.
No further information was immediately available.
Just two weeks ago, firefighters responded to a series of manhole fires on Boylston Street. Flames could be seen shooting out of the street, according to photos and video shot by bystanders.
No injuries were reported, but one manhole reportedly flew up in the air and then cracked in half when it landed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.