Officials investigating cause of Brookline manhole cover explosions

"It was flying as if you were flipping a penny."

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of multiple manhole explosions that erupted on Route 9 during the evening commute in Brookline Wednesday evening.

The ruckus happened at the intersection between the busy roadway and Cypress Street around 6:30 p.m., officials told Boston 25 News.

“It’s made of heavy iron and it flew a significant amount of feet in the air,” Brookline Deputy Fire Chief Pat Canney told reporters. “That was quite an explosion.”

Officials, citing an odor of gas in the neighborhood, believe a leak may have caused the flare up, according to Canney.

“We don’t know what ignited the gas,” he said.


Windows on nearby buildings were damaged as a result. No injuries were reported, according to Boston 25 News.

Josh Nissenbaum, who was working in a nearby store when the explosions happened, said the incident “sounded like a cannon,” WBZ-TV reports.

“The manhole (cover) just flew up into the air and we just ducked down and walked in the other direction,” he said. “Scary, super scary.”

Rod Rosales said he saw one of the manhole covers fly off the ground, according to Boston 25 News.

“Next thing we hear this huge explosion,” he said. “It was like watching a movie, and it was flying as if you were flipping a penny.”

Nearby streets were shut down as police and fire officials responded to the scene. Route 9 re-opened to traffic around 10:30 p.m., according to Boston 25 News.

Crews from Eversource and National Grid, the electricity and gas providers for the area, respectively, remained on the scene early Thursday morning, Boston 25 News reports.


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