Reports: underground fire, blown manhole covers in downtown Albany

downtown albany underground fire 2012-09-19 andrew gregory

Update: Here's video of the explosion.
____

Around 3:30 pm Wednesday afternoon, mentions of an underground fire in downtown Albany -- with exploding manhole covers -- started popping up on Twitter. Albany County exec Dan McCoy posted on Twitter at 3:53 pm: "Fire in electrical network underground. Manhole covers blew. Work underway." [@DanielleSanzone] [@MCCoyCountyExec]

The Albany County Justice Center was evacuated because smoke was drawn into the ventilation system. Albany City Hall was closed. And there were reports of other buildings being closed. [Albany County] [@LeifEngstrom1 (city auditor)] [@jessicabakeman]

Streets near the county justice center were closed for crews to work on the problem. [@MCCoyCountyExec]

The photo above -- at North Pearl and Pine -- is from Andrew Gregory (@lunchboxbrain).

Update: 8:44 pm: From National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella:

At 3 p.m. today we detected a power interruption on an underground line at North Pearl Street in Albany. We immediately dispatched crews who have been working through the evening to assess and repair damage caused by an underground fire on our electrical wire.
One manhole cover was dislodged due to the fire and no injuries were reported.
There were no outages associated with the fire since the downtown area has multiple electric feeds to each customer.
We expect to make those repairs tonight and have the street open for traffic.
We will investigate the incident in an attempt to determine an extact cause.

This sounds familiar...: Something like this happened in downtown Albany in 2009.

Comments

We want pictures!

Fire in the electrical network underground, my foot! The exploding manhole covers are from all the hot air built-up during the "discussions" about downtown Albany.

This is a pretty awesome surveillance video on the TU site showing an actual above-ground explosion.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid67396880001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAC3ncfg~,-fW2xLU5yrFO138HQzUPP0eK_R8GqbsA&bctid=1851274805001

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