Bystanders near the intersection of Charles and Lexington streets reported seeing black smoke billowing into the air before manhole covers exploded. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video)
An underground fire caused at least four manhole covers to burst from the street in downtown Baltimore on Monday night, according to the Baltimore Fire Department.
A Baltimore Fire Department paramedic was taken to the hospital after being hit by a flying manhole cover near the intersection of Charles and Lexington streets, and two firetrucks were damaged in the explosions, fire department spokeswoman Blair Skinner said. The injuries were non-life-threatening, Skinner said.
Bystanders near the intersection of Charles and Lexington streets reported seeing black smoke billowing into the air before manhole covers exploded Monday evening.
And late Tuesday morning, fire crews and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials responded to the scene when smoke again began pouring from two of the manhole covers.
Seeing the smoke Monday evening, Katherine Kozakevych, a Baltimore resident from Ukraine, left her building, taking her passport and laptop with her. She and her friends were sitting outside when fire officials arrived.
Linda Foy, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., said in an email an underground electric cable was damaged by steam. BGE plans to remove and replace the damaged cable, and customers whose service relied on the cable were transferred to another line, she said.