Manhole fires force evacuation of NYC theatre complex

NEW YORK (AP) — A series of manhole fires in midtown Manhattan on Saturday forced the evacuation of a theatre complex where performances of plays including Jersey Boys and Avenue Q were underway.

No injuries were reported from the manhole fires at around 8pm at West 50th Street near Eighth Avenue.

But a representative for the theatre complex New World Stages said patrons were evacuated as a precaution.

“Thankfully, no one was hurt,” said Senior Director of Theatre Operations for the Shubert Organization Michael Coco.

The plays that were cancelled for the night also included The Play That Goes Wrong, Puffs and As Spirited History of Drinking.

Photos posted on social media show flames shooting into the air. Senior Editor at the Daily Beast Tim Teeman posted on Twitter that he was inside the theatre complex when he heard “four or five bangs/explosions” and smelled smoke.

The Fire Department said the fires were under control by 9.15pm.

Subway trains skipped the 50th Street station on the C and E lines while firefighters investigated.

A spokesman for Consolidated Edison said no one lost power. The cause of the fires was not known.