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Manhole explosion in D.C.

Pepco workers at the scene of the latest manhole explosion in the District.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 9  Pepco is investigating another manhole explosion in the District.

THE MOST RECENT BLAST happened around 8 a.m. Wednesday on 19th Street between K and L streets. Witness Stacey Muscarella was walking to work when the explosion happened. She says the cover flew several inches out of the sidewalk. It was kind of like a car backfiring, and then I saw flames shoot out at the top, and they lasted maybe three to five seconds, she said.

Jackie Bensen reports. Minutes later smoke was seen billowing from another manhole at the intersection of K and 19th. Officials removed that cover to allow the smoke to clear. No one was injured. Lights and computers lost power momentarily in a nearby building.

Pepco says a malfunctioning cable caused this mornings explosion.Officials have yet to determine what caused three manholes to explode on M Street in Georgetown, February 18th. A similar explosion five days later at 9th and L streets was blamed on an overheated cable. And on March 3 another electrical malfunction caused an explosion that blew an 80 pound manhole cover out of the ground at 3rd and K streets, Northeast.

-- (, March 10, 2000

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