Last night's manhole explosions in SoHo were reportedly caused by wires underground catching fire. At least that's the Con Ed line. A Villager article from last year explained that when the fire occurs underground, there's a buildup of carbon monoxide - and then there's the explosion. Then the Department of Environmental Protection checks to see if there's CO in other neighboring buildings.
The Post reports that the only injury was a Connecticut school teacher whose hand had a severed tendon (OUCH) from shattered glass.
And also downtown, but unrelated: Verizon had on outage in Lower Manhattan which even affected Police Headquarters. But 311 and 911 weren't affected, as the police have a backup system. NY1 says that service was restored to most customers by 11PM last night.
Photograph by nycjournal on Flickr