A manhole that exploded on East 44th Street and Lexington Avenue this morning left two people injured and one cab fairly mangled.
According to an FDNY spokesperson, the cover blew off the manhole just before 6:30 a.m., striking a nearby taxi and injuring two of its occupants. Both were taken to Bellevue Hospital with minor injuries.
Manholes tend to erupt more often in cold weather due to additional pressure stressing the city's aging infrastructure, the spokesman said. The risk will likely increase as the snow begins to fall, since in addition to the cold weather, salt poured on the streets corrodes cables, which can either catch fire or release gas that builds up, ConEd spokesman Chris Olert has told us in the past.
Since then, the utility company has made efforts to better ventilate the volatile pits, but maybe just avoid stepping on them when possible until this whole "winter" business has blown over...five months from now.