A busy Portland intersection had to be shut down during the height of the evening rush hour Tuesday following an underground explosion.

Portland’s Deputy Fire Chief John Everett said an underground Central Maine Power Co. transmission line that feeds power into the Old Port blew up around 4:20 p.m.

The force of the explosion, which occurred inside an underground electrical vault, blew a manhole cover into the street, but Everett said no injuries were reported.

“It would appear that an electrical component in the transmission line failed for some reason,” Everett said. The blast did not start a fire, but some smoke was visible.

Firefighters worked with Portland police officers to cordon off the intersection at Center, York and Fore streets, a heavily traveled section of the city that is located along a route to the Casco Bay Bridge.

“Our crews are currently on the scene of a manhole explosion at the intersection of Center Street and Fore Street. Utility companies are on scene. The intersection is closed in all directions. Avoid the area,” the Portland Fire Department said in a post on its Facebook page.

The more than 300 Central Maine Power customers in the neighborhood who lost power after the incident had their electrical service restored by 6:30 p.m.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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