NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The roaring snowstorm on Monday may have been to blame for a manhole explosion that left two people injured in Park Slope, Brooklyn. As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, the cover blew into the air, knocking out windows and hitting a man on the head. The fire began around 11:30 a.m. on Prospect Park West between Fifth and Sixth streets. A witness told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman the blaze sent a manhole cover soaring about 25 feet into the air. Manhole Fire Injures 1, Blows Out Windows Near Prospect Park Alex Silverman reports play pause The smell of the smoke in the air was still perceptible more than five hours later, as Con Edison crews worked on the cables. Power was cut for the area around Fifth Street and Prospect Park as Con Ed figured everything out. Meantime, one man was hospitalized after the manhole cover landed on his head. It started with one smoking manhole on Fourth Street. “I was just shoveling my walk when I noticed the smoke coming out the middle of that block, then coming out here. The firemen were already here and my lights were flickering,” said witness and neighbor Bill Jordan. Then all of a sudden, Jordan said as he walked toward Fifth Street, the manhole blew up and him backwards before it landed on the head of a man walking his dog. “The thing was easily as high as the street lamp, and it came down and hit the fellow in front of me on the head, knocked him unconscious,” Jordan told WCBS 880’s Silverman. “But at that time, the firemen and the police were all around the scene already. So I called them immediately and said, ‘Come over. This guy just got hit in the head.’ So they were right on top of him.” The victim apparently woke up and was talking to firefighters. “I was in shock a little bit. Just barely out of the corner of my eye, I saw this manhole cover hit this guy on the head. He was unconscious, but I didn’t see any bleeding. But he still had his hat on,” Jordan said. Authorities said the man was transported to Lutheran Medical Center and his injuries were minor. He was reported in serious condition late Monday. Another pic. Manhole fire. #Brooklyn #FDNY @ConEdison pic.twitter.com/8fUQ70SiKJ — Jenna Stern (@JennaStern) February 2, 2015 The man’s dog, a black Labrador retriever, ran off into Prospect Park. He was later returned to his home. Nicholas Kotsonis, a landlord, said 15 to 20 windows were shattered in his four buildings alone. He also said a 93-year-old woman in one of the buildings had to go to the hospital as a precaution as flying glass cut her. Con Ed was not calling the incident an explosion, saying such underground fires happen when road salt and water seep underground into the electrical equipment, Silverman reported. The FDNY said there was no warning. “There was no indication that it was going to explode,” said Stephen Corcoran of FDNY Battalion 32. Silverman said he felt a second blast just before 1:30 p.m., and more thick, black was billowing out of the open manhole. The Fire Department has cordoned off the area.
Manhole Fire Injures 1, Blows Out Windows Near Prospect Park