An underground explosion occurred at approximately 9:20 pm Friday night on West 76th, between West End & Riverside, causing a manhole cover to blow. The source of the blast is thought to be an electrical fire.
Many thanks to MyUpperWest reader Anne N., who was onsite and e-mailed the details and some photos. She wrote:
“The air is thick with the smell of burning rubber and smoke. NYFD were on the scene very quickly to put out the fire.”
I wish I had more details, but I can’t find any official news reports of this at the moment (I’m typing this late Friday night, even though you’re seeing it Saturday morning — ahhhh, technology!). I suspect DNAinfo will get a reporter on this at some point over the weekend, but unfortunately manhole explosions are simply one of the joys of NYC living. The one on 76th was actually the second of the day in Manhattan. No word on if the two are related, but that seems unlikely.
I happened to be getting off the West Side Highway at 79th around 10:30 pm and noticed that Riverside Drive was closed west of 79th. At the time I thought it was due to road work of some sort, but now I’m wondering if it was related to this. It appeared as though there were no cars on the street, so perhaps nearby vehicles were towed away as a precaution. That’s just speculation, which of course is always productive…
If anyone has any additional details, please feel free to e-mail them to alerts [at] myupperwest.com.
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Tags: electrical fire, FDNY, manhole explosion, manhole fire, New York City, NYC, Upper West Side, UWS, w 76 explosion, West 76th street explosion