Exploding manhole cover shut down parts of downtown Lexington

LEXINGTON, Mass. — An exploding manhole cover shut down parts of downtown Lexington Monday afternoon.

While the fire department was on scene on Mass. Ave. in Lexington inspecting a manhole for suspicious smoke coming out, two large pieces of steel went up into the air. The fire captain and his crew watched as it went up 8 to 10 feet in the air and then crash down on the sidewalk, each piece weighing hundreds of pounds.

One man, who tells us he was celebrating his birthday with a lunch downtown, said his car was damaged in the incident. Eversource is helping him with a claim to fix it.

Eversource has equipment in the underground vault is trying to figure out what caused it, looking at a possible underground transformer issue.

The fire captain says luckily, they had already started clearing the area before it exploded.

"It's in the middle of the sidewalk so it could have been a tragedy, but right now, thankfully nobody was around when it happened," said Lexington Fire Captain Mark Ferreira.

Some of downtown was shut down while crews made sure there wasn't a bigger problem. Lexx, a popular restaurant, managed to feed the people who had already ordered lunch.

"The police officer said the scene was safe so we let everyone finish their meals who wanted to stay. A couple of tables got up and left who didn't order yet," said Lexx owner Chris Bateman.

But without knowing how long the power would be out, he had to close for the rest of the day.

"We put all the necessary steps in place to ice down all of our food, and purchase dry ice and hopefully they will get us up for tomorrow," said Bateman.

Which he says can add up quickly.

"It's certainly is cumbersome," said Bateman.

More than 140 people lost power initially. That number was quickly cut down to 39 after they isolated the issue to this one vault

Comments on this article