Greensboro police: Electrical problem causes two manholes to explode downtown


Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 11.09.44 PMTwo manholes went shooting skyward in downtown Greensboro on Sunday night. The Greensboro Police Department sent out the following release shortly after 11 p.m.:

Two explosions in the vicinity of 111 W. Washington St. that sent manhole covers skyward appear to be caused by a problem with underground electrical wiring, according to Greensboro Fire Department officials.
Multiple callers notified GM 911 of an explosion by the Biltmore Hotel at approximately 8:31 pm. Witnesses stated a nearby manhole cover was sent in to the air. A second man hole cover on the same street exploded approximately 10 minutes later.
Fire officials, representatives from Duke Power, and members of the City’s Water and Sewer Department are continuing to investigate the cause of the explosions. Preliminary indicators point to an electrical issue.
Greensboro police quickly evacuated the Biltmore Hotel and the Carolina Theater as officials were in the early stages of assessing the damage and trying to pinpoint the cause of the explosions.
No one was injured in the incident. Several vehicles and the exterior of the Biltmore Hotel were damaged.
Two Hazardous Devices Teams are also on scene as a precautionary measure.
Police have blocked off portions of W. Washington St. and Greene St. until officials have established the precise cause of the incident and have determined that the area is safe.