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Smoking Manhole Rattles Union Square Commuters [Updated]

Smoke gushing from a manhole at Broadway and 17th Street rattled commuters in Union Square this evening.

“A big boom and black smoke at the NE corner of 17th and Broadway,” tweeted the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. “It was NOT our truck blowing up. What’s going on?”

Others tweeted about an explosion, but a ConEd spokesperson said there was no explosion when the manhole started smoking at 5:30 p.m. He said there were no injuries or power outages as a result of the smoke, the cause of which is currently under investigation.

A fire department spokesperson said the smoke was quickly brought under control.

The event unnerved some already shaken up by this morning’s shooting near the Empire State Building. More photos…

FDNY: Explosion at Con Edison Plant ‘Doesn’t Appear to Be Serious’

A FDNY spokesman told The Local that at 8:02 p.m., a call came in regarding a transformer fire at the Con Edison plant at 14th Street and FDR Drive. According to the spokesman, a standard response team of 12 units comprising 65 firefighters was dispatched to the scene. “It doesn’t appear to be serious,” he said. (The cause of these types of fires is typically determined after an investigation by fire marshals.) EV Grieve has some shots from the scene as well as an eyewitness account: “big explosion, giant black plume of smoke, no flames.” A tipster tells Grieve that “most of the emergency crews” had packed up as of 9 p.m.

Check back here for any updates.