Manhole Explodes In South Omaha Neighborhood, Causes Concern

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- A week ago, last Sunday, part of downtown Omaha was without power for about 24 hours after an underground explosion. One south Omaha neighborhood had a similar scare when a possible gas leak caused a manhole cover to blow.

The neighborhood of 39th and Washington is pretty quiet. But the silence was broken after a manhole exploded into pieces.

"We just heard a big boom and my wife said she seen water coming out of the toilet--water just kind of shot out of the toilet," said Josiah Bartlett who lives directly on the corner by the manhole.

The Metropolitan Utilities District added to the noise, looking for answers of what caused the four-inch gas main break. Neighbors said they heard the explosion all the way down the block.

"You should have seen it though. It was like somebody lit off a stick of dynamite down in the sewer there," said Bartlett.

Bartlett and his family, along with three other homes were evacuated as a precaution. Bartlett said, thankfully, his family was able to go back inside.

"It definitely would have been a bad day if we wasn't able to go back in the house for Super Bowl Sunday and also with the kids being sick," he said.

Odor from the gas caused concern for neighbors. People were reassured by MUD that they were drilling away to make sure everyone in the area stays safe.

"They're on it. They've got good crews at MUD We're in good hands, they'll take care of everything. Nothing to worry about," said neighbor, Gene Simpek.

"Can't wait to get to work tomorrow and tell these guys about, tell the guys at work about this," said Bartlett.

MUD is looking into the cause of the main break. No one was hurt.