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SF Underground Explosion Blows Manhole Cover Off; Knocks Out Power

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Power has been restored to all 2,100 PG&E customers in San Francisco's Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods this afternoon after an underground power cable failed and a manhole exploded earlier today, a utility spokesman said.

Around 11:30 a.m., a manhole exploded in the 600 block of Bush Street near Stockton Street, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.

The manhole cover flew off, striking a vehicle, police and fire officials said.

An employee at the nearby Moth and Dagger Tattoo Studio at 610 Bush St. said the cover was blown about 4 feet into the air.

It struck a passing vehicle and dented the trunk, he said.

He said flames and smoke were seen coming from the exposed manhole.

The employee said down the block, it appeared another manhole cover had also come off.

Smoke from the area indicated damage to an underground electrical cable, Molica said.

He said, "We know a power cable failed but we don't know why."

Power was restored to all customers at 1:49 p.m., Molica said.

He said crews remained on scene this afternoon to investigate the incident.

San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car service was briefly stopped after the explosion but was able to continue unaffected, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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