Smoking Manhole on the Bowery [Video]

Posted on: January 11th, 2011 at 6:28 am by

At first, it appeared to be exhaust from idling vehicles curbside. Turns out it was something scarier. While on the Bowery yesterday afternoon, the manhole cover outside 258 Bowery began sputtering and smoking, and lasted for roughly fifteen minutes.  Given the rash of sewer caps shooting skyward all over the city, the sight (and smell) was quite sobering.

Sidwalkers dodged the plume and ran for their lives with each pop and flame from the Con Ed cap.  Kinda sounded like someone making popcorn down under.  Two of us called 311, and the FDNY appeared within minutes. Three trucks responded, but there didn’t seem to be a huge sense of urgency.  A few firefighters entered the basement of 258 Bowery, presumably to neutralize the situation.

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After creating a makeshift fire scene perimeter from two skids, the first responders departed. By nightfall, an emergency Con Edison vehicle was on scene to handle the issue.

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Perhaps it’s an omen not to develop the lot at 250 Bowery?

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