People in a theatre performance of Jersey Boys was forced to evacuate after a series of manhole explosions in midtown Manhattan.
The manhole fires began at around 8pm on Saturday at West 50th Street near Eighth Avenue, causing public confusion and disruption to train operations.
Emergency services attended the scene and the Fire Department said the fires were under control by 9.15pm.
Everyone who was at the theatre complex is unharmed, a representative for New World Stages said.
“All patrons, casts, crews and staff were evacuated as a precaution and performances were then cancelled. Thankfully, no one was hurt,” said Michael Coco, senior director of theatre operations for the Shubert Organization.
A number of explosions were reported in the area, with some witnesses sharing clips on social media.
Photos posted on social media showed flames shooting into the air, while video footage shows a blaze from a manhole just outside the theatre complex.
One theatre-goer posted on Facebook: “As we were entering the building, there was a big boom. No idea what it was, but they kept letting people in.
“Right when the show was supposed to start, they announced they had to evacuate the theater. So now we’re outside with the other four shows that are performed in the same theater.”
They later updated the post with: “All shows in the building cancelled.”
NYC tonight: Heard 4 or 5 bangs/explosions. Strong gas/smoke smell. Most police/fire activity focused around 50th btwn 8th & 9th. Per previous tweet, was inside @newworldstages and heard deep thud/bang, saw window blown out. This was manhole outside, blueish flames issuing forth pic.twitter.com/k95CO2tTQP
— Tim Teeman (@TimTeeman) February 17, 2019
Tim Teeman, a senior editor at the Daily Beast, wrote on Twitter that he was inside the theatre complex when he heard “4 or 5 bangs/explosions” and could smell smoke.
Other cancelled plays of the night included The Play That Goes Wrong, Puffs and A Spirited History of Drinking.
The Citizen safety network app shared clips of the blaze on Twitter, reporting: “police are blocking off traffic on W 50th St from 8th Ave to 9th Ave.”
Subway trains skipped the 50th Street station nearest the explosions while firefighters investigated.
The cause of the fires was not known.