Alleged manhole explosion just a lot of smoke

Reports of an explosion under manhole covers in San Francisco may have been overblown, perhaps by witnesses made more sensitive by Thursday’s actual explosion in San Bruno, but a PG&E representative did confirm that there was smoke escaping a manhole cover.

According to PG&E spokeswoman Katie Romans, the utility agency received a call early Friday that smoke was rising from a manhole cover near Sutter and Montgomery streets.

Sure enough, when crews arrived they discovered the smoke originated from a failed secondary electric cable. They cut power to the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office at 130 Montgomery, a narrow six story building sandwiched between two much larger buildings.

The problem was fixed and power restored by 12:30 p.m., Romans said.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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