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Published: Monday, 4/21/2003

Sewer explosion blows manhole covers off

An apparent sewer explosion blew off two manhole covers downtown at the intersection of St. Clair and Washington streets next to Fifth Third Field during a Toledo Mud Hens game.

There were no injuries reported and the only damage was to the manhole covers and wiring below the street, police said.

A loud explosion and smoke were reportedly heard and seen by people in the stadium about 4 p.m. during the game, said Toledo Fire Lt. Matt Tabb.

“When we responded, we saw that manhole covers had been blown off at the intersection of Washington and St. Clair and green flames, six to eight feet high, were shooting out of it,” Lieutenant Tabb said. “The fire burned itself out after a short time.”

Gina Thompson, a spokeswoman with Columbia Gas said there was no natural gas detected at the site.

Lieutenant Tabb said green flames would most likely be caused by ignited methane or sewer gas that had built up.

The Washington Street entrance to the ballpark was closed and patrons were diverted to other exits.

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