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Manhole Explosion Shuts Down Congress Street Office Building

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Boston firefighters outside 211 Congress Street after the manhole fire Friday (Photo courtesy: Boston Fire Dept.)

Boston firefighters outside 211 Congress Street after the manhole fire Friday (Photo courtesy: Boston Fire Dept.)

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BOSTON (CBS) – A manhole explosion caused problems at a high-rise office building in downtown Boston Friday.

Firefighters were called to 211 Congress Street just before 10 a.m. because of a report of smoke in the basement of the 11-story office building.

It turned out to be from a manhole explosion in the street nearby and NStar was called in.

Witnesses say the manhole cover flew about ten feet in the air.

According to the fire department on Twitter, the conditions in the manhole worsened and power had to be shut off to the entire building, which has a Starbucks and FedEx office on the first floor.

The fire was put out around 10:45 a.m.

No one was hurt, but the fire department said the building will stay closed because it still has no electricity.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

An NStar crew is working in the manhole to repair damaged cables.

The fire department is asking people to avoid Congress and High Streets for the time being.

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