Boston Manhole Blasts Send 1 to Hospital, Force Evacuations

Boston Manhole Blasts Send 1 to Hospital, Force Evacuations
An ambulance in Boston, on March 7, 2020. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
The Associated Press

BOSTON—Two manholes exploded in downtown Boston on Thursday morning, pouring smoke into the streets, forcing the evacuation of two buildings, and sending one person to the hospital with burns, authorities said.

The explosions, which also shattered a window, were reported around 8:30 a.m. near the High Street and Federal Street area in the Financial District.

The cause remains under investigation, but Deputy Fire Chief Brian Tully said at a news conference at the scene that there “may have been an overpressure situation.”

The Boston Fire Department said in a tweet that two buildings were evacuated and one person was taken to a hospital by emergency medical services. That woman suffered burns, possibly from steam, Tully said.

The fire department was also checking area buildings for smoke and possible elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

Electric utility Eversource also responded to assist with the investigation, spokesperson William Hinkle said. No utility crews were working in the area at the time, and no customers lost power, he said.

The emergency response also caused traffic headaches. Two ramps from Interstate 93 in the area were closed, according to the state Transportation Department, and some surface streets were also closed.