Pacific Gas & Electric says a damaged cable caused smoke to rise from a manhole in front of San Francisco’s City Hall Monday.
Polk Street was closed between Grove and McAllister streets for over five hours after smoke and a smell of burnt plastic erupted from the manhole at around 2:30 p.m.
The cable provides DC power for elevators in the Civic Center area. Power service was not affected, as crews were able to route power around the cable, which was melting.
PG&E spokesman David Eisenhauer says this kind of event is infrequent and PG&E is not yet sure how it happened.
Last month, an underground vault explosion shot flames from a manhole just a few blocks away, at Polk and O’Farrell streets. Eisenhauer says PG&E will factor that event into their investigation only saying now that it is “hard to say whether it is related.”