- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - A manhole explosion near New York City’s Penn Station has led to the evacuations of a hotel and the studios of Al Jazeera America. It also has snarled traffic and affected area phone, Internet and cable service.

Fire officials say there were no injuries when the midtown Manhattan blast occurred Wednesday morning.

The explosion produced flames that quickly dissipated. But smoke and an acrid odor hung over the busy commercial area.

Police evacuated The New Yorker hotel.

Utility Consolidated Edison and Verizon say they have crews at the scene repairing underground cables that were damaged.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo says the company has received 140 reports of outages within a few blocks of the blast. He says the reports include problems with phone, cable TV and Internet service.

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