BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – An explosion sent a manhole cover flying at Michigan and Best streets in Buffalo Wednesday morning- the second time the same type of incident has occurred in as many weeks.
Fire officials said an issue with National Grid is to blame.
They are blaming it on an electrical fault of an underground cable.
Spokesman Steve Brady told News 4 that a fault–an interruption in the line, or a short circuit–generated a lot of heat and smoke. When that happens, something has to give, and in this case the manhole cover acted as a relief valve.
Brady described the manhole cover coming off as the cover becoming dislodged as opposed to a more dramatic “blowing its lid”.
“When we get a fault in an underground cable like that, they are in very confined spaces–conduit, typically,” Brady said. “The heat builds up very quickly, and if there is any sort of debris in the manhole, that heat can actually cause it to smoulder. So you get both the heat buildup and the smoke buildup, and that pressure is what causes the manhole covers to lift.”
No property damage was reported in Wednesday’s incident. There were also no injuries, and no customer impact.
National Grid is looking into what might have caused the electrical fault in the underground service line.
A manhole cover blew on Chippewa Street two weeks ago, causing property damage.