Thirteen manholes exploded in Brooklyn early Thursday in a terrifying display caused by the winter weather, witnesses and fire officials said.
Residents alerted authorities to smoking manholes on Norman Ave. near Monitor St. in Williamsburg about 2:40 a.m. Then over the next three hours, underground pressure came to a flash point and sent 13 manhole covers soaring through the air and carbon monoxide seeping into nearby homes, authorities said.
Andres Hernandes, 47, said two manholes erupted in flames within one block of his home on Norman Ave.
“I hear the explosion and I look out the window and I see the smoke coming. In like five seconds the fire is shooting of the manhole and cover is shooting off.”
A Con Ed rep said salty runoff from melting snow is likely the incendiary culprit.
“Oftentimes snow melting travels into the system and can corrode the wires, which build up pressure and then the top of the manhole can be removed or there can be an explosion and the manhole (cover) will pop off,” the spokesman said.
The FDNY was on scene for more than three hours before declaring the incident under control about 6 a.m.
Nobody was injured.
In Manhattan just hours earlier, another manhole fire forced a posh apartment building to evacuate after the combustive cocktail of salt water ate through some of Con Edison’s underground power lines in Chelsea.
Last month a man was beamed in the head by another manhole cover sent airborne after a underground explosion near Prospect Park.