Check back for updates.
Local news report:
A large explosion was heard in lower Manhattan early Friday morning, near the Union Square area.
According to firefighter scanner activity, the explosion was caused by a manhole blast that several manholes on fire.
The explosion occurred just before 8am, at the intersection of Broadway and East 12th Street – near the landmark bookstore, The Strand.
So far there have been no reports of injuries. Officials have not said what caused the blast, but trucks for the city’s gas provider, ConEdison, were on the scene. —DailyMail
Cell footage from the scene:
Fire trucks were present at the scene near Broadway and 12th Street just before 8 a.m. and the city warned to expect extensive traffic delays in the area. One nearby building, 826 Broadway, was evacuated for elevated carbon monoxide levels. There were no injuries, though.
Rima Abdelkader, who works with NBC News, said she works overnights and was on the Staten Island Express bus, heading home, when she says all the passengers “heard this huge explosion.”
“From what people heard, it sounded like a bomb. You felt it,” Abdelkader said. “I was listening to music and I still heard it. My right ear is hurting.” —NBC
While we are still waiting for official explanation for the blast, the manager from the bookstore whose windows were blown out said it was ‘a transformer explosion’, and ‘smoke was billowing out of the corner’.
More as it develops.