February 17, 2019 2:32 pm

Flames seen erupting from manholes in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen

WATCH: Flames erupt from manhole covers in New York City's Hells Kitchen


A series of manhole fires in midtown Manhattan on Saturday forced the evacuation of a theatre complex where performances of plays including Jersey Boys and Avenue Q were underway.

No injuries were reported from the manhole fires at around 8 p.m. at West 50th Street near Eighth Avenue.

But a representative for the theatre complex New World Stages said patrons were evacuated as a precaution.

READ MORE: Manhole explodes by New York’s Penn Station, hotel evacuated

Story continues below

“Thankfully, no one was hurt,” said Michael Coco, senior director of theatre operations for the Shubert Organization.

The plays that were cancelled for the night also included The Play That Goes Wrong, Puffs and A Spirited History of Drinking.

Photos posted on social media show flames shooting into the air. Tim Teeman, a senior editor at the Daily Beast, posted on Twitter that he was inside the theatre complex when he heard “4 or 5 bangs/explosions” and smelled smoke.

READ MORE: When the road salt seeps, sometimes the manhole covers fly

The Fire Department says the fires were under control by 9:15 p.m.

Subway trains skipped the 50th Street station on the C and E lines while firefighters investigated.

A spokesman for Consolidated Edison said no one lost power. The cause of the fires was not known.


© 2019 The Canadian Press

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.