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Underground Explosion Blows Manhole Covers Off In Old City

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An underground explosion in the city's popular Old City bar and restaurant district shot manhole covers into the air overnight. There were no injuries reported, but the incident caused traffic restrictions for several hours in the neighborhood during the Monday morning rush hour period.

Adam Garson, who lives nearby, says the explosions were loud enough to wake him up around 2 a.m.

"It was a boom, it sounded like somebody dropped a truck out of the sky into the ground."

Crews say an underground cable caught fire and sent six or seven manhole covers soaring several feet into the air.

Officials say it's fortunate the intersection was empty and it wasn't a weekend night, when bars and restaurants in the area would have been emptying out at that time.

PECO reported no major problems outside of a few nearby power outages.

The incident caused a few traffic headaches. 2nd Street was closed between Chestnut and Market Streets until after 10 a.m. SEPTA rerouted bus lines 5, 17, 21, 33, 42, and 48 for several hours. Service on the Market-Frankford Line was not affected.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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