Widespread Power Outages Reported After Manhole Explosion in Newton

About 5,500 customers were without electricity as of 6 p.m. Thursday

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Police in Newton, Massachusetts, say "widespread power outages" are being reported across the city due to a manhole explosion on Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. in the area of Walnut and Lakewood streets in the Newton Highlands, according to police.

The chief says witnesses reported hearing three different explosions. It came from one manhole that was vented. People saw flames shooting up through the ground.

About 5,500 customers were without power in Newton as of 6 p.m., or about 13% of the city, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. Several hundred other homes in neighboring communities also lost electricity.

Later Thursday night, virtually all customers in the city had power back.

“People gathering around and blue lights flashing and a fire hose in the street. And then we got a call from my son and said hey guess what there’s no power. We asked around and other people told us that a transformer exploded and the rest is history," Arthur Tischler, who lives nearby, said.

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