Business owners and downtown residents of Asbury Park were shaken up by a pair of manhole explosions Thursday morning.
No one was injured but at least 400 customers lost electricity after two manholes exploded about 9 a.m., authorities said.
Jersey Central Power & Light crews were investigating a cable vault that may have been the source of the problem.
Multiple witnesses said that they heard long bangs and felt homes and buildings shake. Asbury Park police and firefighters immediately evacuated the neigh
DJ Presto, co-owner of DJ’s Deli on Mattison Avenue, said he was in his kitchen and heard what sounded like a loud bomb.
"I heard a loud explosion and the manhole caught on fire, coming out and then it just blew out and we saw the smoke bellowing out," Presto said. "Everything shook. It was like a bomb that went off."
One explosion occurred to the right of his delicatessen, where he's been in business for 12 years.
Asbury Park police said to avoid the areas of Cookman, Mattison, Lake and Bangs avenues and Emory Street, a popular downtown neighborhood replete with bars and restaurants.
Neptune Township firefighters assisted the Asbury Park Fire Department.
By coincidence, and about the same time on Thursday, first responders were called to an exploding manhole cover in Essex County. During that emergency, a vehicle got stuck in the open manhole and had to be towed away, reports said.
That incident occurred at 1301 Springfield Ave. in Irvington and was believed caused by an electrical problem, according to an initial report.
These are developing news stories.
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