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Underground Explosion Rocks 600 Block Of Pine Street

by Trang Do

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An underground explosion in Washington Square West rattled people out of their beds early Sunday morning, just 12 hours after a similar incident Saturday outside 30th Street Station.

A PECO spokeswoman said the issue at 6th and Pine Streets stemmed from an underground cable overheating, which built up pressure and caused manhole covers to fly off.

The Lokoff family was shaken, along with the rest of their neighbors.

"It was 1:30, the whole house shook, it was like boom!" Jamie Lokoff said. "That was the scary part, we didn't know what was going on, so we're running around the house and we come out here and see the manhole cover, smoke is billowing out."

"We saw smoke in the middle of the street, smoke all over the street, kept building up," Barry Gomer said. "More and more with each minute."

Firefighters evacuated seven homes, as a precaution. They monitored others with carbon monoxide detectors.

"He's got his meter and the meter starts going, beep, beep, beep, and he's like, you gotta get outta here," Lokoff said.

PECO shut off power to 50 nearby homes, while crews worked throughout the day and night to repair the damaged cable.

Though most all of the homes regained power by midday, concerns about the impact of the issue remained high in the neighborhood.

"I think it's a little scary to live in the house right now," Jodi Lokoff said. "I think we need to go out and get a carbon monoxide box and just know what our levels are. I worry about that as a mom."

Fortunately, no one was hurt in either of these explosions.

Sunday night, as crews continued to work overnight to repair the damage, 6th Street was closed between Spruce and Pine. Pine Street was also closed between 5th and 6th.

As of 10:35 p.m. Sunday night, all homes have had their power restored.

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