SF underground explosion causes power outage

June 5, 2009 2:03:14 PM PDT
A large amount of smoke is rising from a manhole in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood due to a problem with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. equipment that has caused about 3,200 PG&E customers to lose power, a utility spokeswoman said. An explosion occurred in the area of Polk and O'Farrell streets late this morning, sending black smoke pouring out of a manhole there, fire spokeswoman Mindy Taldmadge said.

Police have closed off streets for two blocks in all directions around that intersection.

Talmadge said firefighters had to rescue some people who were stuck in elevators due to the power outage.

Medics and firefighters are on scene to make sure the smoke doesn't cause further problems. No injuries have been reported.

Firefighters were still waiting for PG&E to arrive around 12:15 p.m.

PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said the first report of an outage came in around 11:36 p.m., which is probably when the equipment failed.