Manhole explodes at rush-hour
RUSH-HOUR commuters had a lucky escape after a manhole exploded in Dublin city centre.
It is suspected that an underground cable overheated as temperatures rose into the mid-20s, and may have caught fire causing the blast.
The lid was blown several feet in the air at the busy junction of Merrion Street and Baggot Street shortly before 10am yesterday. The scene is close to Government Buildings and the Merrion Hotel.
No one was hurt in the explosion although the manhole cover landed just inches away from people crossing at the junction and some drivers passed the grate just a few seconds before the blast.
Smoke was spotted billowing from the manhole before the lid blew.
A staff member in a nearby cafe, John Morrin, described the odour coming from the grate as the kind of smell "that would burn your nose".
Two units of the Dublin Fire Brigade from Tara Street Station responded to the call when the alarm was raised.
The ESB remained at the scene but it was unclear last night as to what had caused the damage. Bord Gais Networks later confirmed it was not gas related.
Manhole explosions can sometimes be caused by electric cables underground heating up and catching fire.