2:11 PM (BCN): Power has been restored to all 2,100 PG&E customers in San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods this afternoon after an underground power cable failed and a manhole exploded earlier today, a utility spokesman said.

Around 11:30 a.m., a manhole exploded in the 600 block of Bush Street near Stockton Street, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.

The manhole cover flew off, striking a vehicle, police and fire officials said.

An employee at the nearby Moth and Dagger Tattoo Studio at 610 Bush St. said the cover was blown about 4 feet into the air.

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It struck a passing vehicle and dented the trunk, he said.

He said flames and smoke were seen coming from the exposed manhole.

The employee said down the block, it appeared another manhole cover had also come off.

Smoke from the area indicated damage to an underground electrical cable, Molica said.

He said, “We know a power cable failed but we don’t know why.”

Power was restored to all customers at 1:49 p.m., Molica said.

He said crews remained on scene this afternoon to investigate the incident.

San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car service was briefly stopped after the explosion but was able to continue unaffected, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

1:06 PM (BCN): Some 2,100 PG&E customers are without power this afternoon in San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods after a manhole exploded, authorities said.

Around 11:30 a.m., a manhole exploded on Bush Street at Stockton Street, PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said.
Fire and police officials said smoke started coming from the area and the manhole cover flew off, striking a vehicle.

An employee at the Moth and Dagger Tattoo Studio at 610 Bush St. said the cover was blown about four feet into the air.

It struck a passing vehicle and dented the trunk, he said.

He said flames and smoke were seen coming from the exposed manhole.

The employee said down the block, it appeared another manhole cover had also come off.

Smoke from the area indicated possible damage to an electrical cable, Molica said.

No injuries were reported and as of 12:30 p.m., the area had been deemed safe, Molica said.

The employee at Moth and Dagger said police had blocked off two blocks of Bush Street as several fire trucks responded to the fire from the manhole.

The outage affecting residents and merchants in Chinatown and parts of North Beach was reported at 11:40 a.m.

PG&E crews are on scene this afternoon trying to restore power and are investigating the manhole incident, Molica said.

San Francisco Municipal Railway cable car service was briefly stopped after the explosion but was able to continue unaffected, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said.

12:31 PM: According to Mary Magocsy, EMS & Disaster Specialist for San Francisco County, at 11:25 this morning, a manhole explosion was reported at 625 Bush St, which is near Stockton Street.

No injuries have been reported, and responders are on the scene, Magocsy said.

A shelter in place has neen ordered for area buildings, and Muni is being rerouted around the area.

Eastbound traffic on Bush Street is stopped at Mason, and northbound traffic on Powell Street is stopped at Sutter.

In possibly related news, PG&E reports that approximately 2100 customers are currently without power in Chinatown and North Beach. “Crews are en route,” they say.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • This was infront of my place.

  • This was infront of my place.

  • Jd

    This happens several times of year and PG&E always plays dumb. F*** PG$E!

  • Jd

    This happens several times of year and PG&E always plays dumb. F*** PG$E!

  • Able_Dart

    So it wasn’t the Biomass after all?

  • Able_Dart

    So it wasn’t the Biomass after all?