More underground explosions or stolen manhole covers in Detroit? Anyone care?

Manhole cover photo by Steve Neavling.

A loud explosion rocked the Cass Corridor on Monday afternoon, about an hour after firefighters were called to investigate about a dozen missing manhole covers on the east side.

An hour after the explosion set off car alarms shortly before 2 p.m., police and firefighters were unsure what happened and whether it’s connected to underground electrical explosions that have blown off manhole covers in the past. 

Shortly before 1 p.m., firefighters were called to investigate about a dozen missing manhole covers on Foster near Miller. Firefighters weren’t sure what happened. Manhole covers are often stolen and can fetch $50 from scrapyards. 

DTE Energy, which owns the underground power lines, said it’s unaware of any fires or explosions related to electrical lines. In the past few years, explosions have rocked downtown and other areas of Detroit because of  spreading underground fires. DTE said it has received no calls about manhole covers blowing off and no reports of electrical outages. 

Wayne State Police investigated the explosion near the Cass Corridor but was unable to find the cause. 

It’s unclear whether any police or fire officials are even investigating whether there is an underground fire or if the explosion was connected to the missing manhole covers. 

Check back for updates.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.