SAN FRANCISCO (CBS) – The San Francisco Fire Department responded to a  manhole explosion in San Francisco’s Financial District Saturday.  The blast was strong enough to shatter windows in nearby businesses.

It happened on Sansome Street between Clay and California.

PG&E trucks were on the scene.  One witness said he smelled smoke and saw flames.

According to PG&E it was an underground ‘secondary failure’.  One firefighter CBS 5 spoke to said it was an electric vault that blew.

So far, there are no reports of any injuries.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (10)
  1. Rob says:

    I was on sansome shortly after this happened. I didn’t see any damage or broken windows. The street was closed for about one block, but was reopening as we were walking down Sansome.

  2. BOBKUR says:


    1. Pat says:

      More like Pacific GAFF and EXPLOSION!! Lately PG&E’s infrastructure is looking more and more scarey everyday.

  3. Bystander says:

    My friend and I saw smoke about 100 feet away and smelled fumes, so we decided to turn around and take another route when the manhole about 5-10 feet away from us exploded. It was very loud and scary! We began running when we heard the explosion. The window of the building next to us shattered. We were not sure what was going on, but decided to run away from the scene because we were scared for our safety. Except for horrible earaches and glass on our clothes, I am happy to say that we’re fine. We did see two or three PG&E employees running towards the scene as we slowed down and walked away.

  4. Pat says:

    The unnamed firefighter got it right!!!

  5. Tim says:

    I was inside Planet Fitness Gym and heard the blast, I went out and saw every manholes had smoke leaking out, what a day !

  6. Mike says:

    I was there when it happened – you can see me and the guy in front of me briefly at 1:02. I saw the smoke coming out and the ch 5 guy video taping and remembered these things blow up – but I didn’t think it really would – it was thick brown smoke and smelled like an electrical fire. as I was about 15 feet from the manhole that went 10′ in the air and the window broke about 20′ behind me. About a mintue later some guys in orange vests showed up..

  7. Concerned Mother says:

    I’m so glad no one was hurt or killed! PG&E’s lack of maintenance is terrorizing California! Get on the stick Arnold before more people are killed!

  8. Huh? says:

    What is secondary failure?

  9. Victor says:

    Thank God Anne Makovec and the CBS 5 cameraman were OK as they witnessed the manhole explosion while on their way back to the TV station yesterday.

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