Salt Lake City firefighters have re-opened a downtown Salt Lake City intersection following an underground explosion that blew off two manhole covers and caused power outages.
It happened at an underground power vault where power lines meet at the intersection of 300 South and 200 East, said Salt Lake City fire spokesman Jasen Asay.
Susy Hadley, co-owner of The Tavernacle piano bar at 201 E. Broadway, said she was at the bar with about four other people when she felt something like an earthquake.
"The lights flickered like we had a power surge, then the building kind of shook and we heard a loud thud," she said. "There was this crazy green smoke coming out of the manhole."
Firefighters arrived and evacuated the Tavernacle and the Green Ant vintage furniture store at 179 E. Broadway (300 South). Haz-mat crews dropped tubes down the manholes which initially indicated the presence of smoke underground, but they later found nothing had caught fire.
The intersection was closed to cars and foot traffic for about two hours and re-opened shortly after 5 p.m.
A total of 45 businesses and homes in the downtown area lost power Monday afternoon but crews restored power before 5 p.m., according to a Rocky Mountain Power spokesman. Power company workers found "the power vault will need some repair work, but it doesn't need immediate attention," Asay said, and the intersection was re-opened about 5 p.m.