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Manhole Explosions Rock Upper East Side

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Two manholes exploded on the Upper East Side, scorching a sport utility vehicle parked on the street and ripping up the asphalt.

The back to back explosions sent people running for cover as the force of the blast sent manhole covers and debris flying in the air around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday on East 73rd Street and Madison Avenue.

Pictures taken moments after show smoke coming from underneath the street.

The NYPD's 19th Precinct tweeted photos from the scene showing a charred SUV with its back window blown out.

The explosions happened in the middle of the busy morning commute as dozens of people and cars were in the area.

"There was a lot of panic," one witness said.

Servando Mendez said he watched as a manhole cover shot three to four feet into the air.

"It was just like boom! You felt the ground shake a little," Mendez said. "The second one just popped into the air and then you saw all the debris come up."

Daniel Antorum, a custodian at a nearby building, said he heard the first explosion and ran outside to help when the second manhole blew.

"I felt there was something wrong, the steam was pushing out of the plate and the plate exploded up," Antorum told 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported. "I got hit with debris and the guy next to me got hit. We walked away."

Mendez said he was concerned because approximately 100 pre-K kids go to school across the street from the scene.

"We have kids in the school so my first instinct get every one out of the building," Mendez said.

According to the NYPD, no injuries were reported.

Con Ed emergency crews are on the scene.

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