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Downtown outage causes 1,400 to lose power

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Emergency personal block traffic on Main Street at Higgins Avenue in both directions due to a carbon monoxide leak.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Emergency personal block traffic on Main Street at Higgins Avenue in both directions due to a carbon monoxide leak. Photo Store

An underground electrical fire near Higgins Avenue and Main Street has caused a power outage for 1,400 customers in the area and evacuated the Bell Hotel.

Manitoba Hydro spokeswoman Andrea Gruber said Hydro crews, firemen and police closed off the intersection just before 4 p.m. when a manhole lid blew off the street. Steam rose from the ground where the lid blew off. Gruber said this was caused by burning power lines below ground. The cause of the underground fire is still unknown.

Power was restored around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night.

The Bell Hotel at, 662 Main St., was also evacuated as smoke began to enter the building. Police said there were toxic gases in the air, including carbon monoxide, so they evacuated the hotel residents on transit buses. They are being taken care of by Social Services, said Gruber.

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Updated on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 7:42 PM CDT: Write-thru

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