Dorm Row Manhole Explosion Causes Power Outage, Students Rescued from Elevators

Cambridge, Massachusetts – Students were rescued from elevators after a manhole explosion near W85 and Tang Hall led to power outages in various buildings along Amherst Alley on Sunday, May 5, 2024. The incident caused a temporary blackout in the affected areas, prompting the Cambridge Fire Department to respond to the scene. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of the explosion.

A notification from MIT Alert indicated that several buildings, including W85, Tang Hall, Next House, New House, and McCormick, experienced power loss due to the incident. Among the impacted structures, students in Next House found themselves stuck in elevators and required assistance from firefighters to be safely rescued. As of the latest update, all affected elevators have been cleared.

Authorities later determined that the power outage resulted from damage to MIT electrical equipment caused by the manhole explosion. While repairs were underway, there was no specific timeline provided for the restoration of power in the affected buildings. Eventually, power was successfully restored to all impacted structures by the early morning hours.

In the aftermath of the incident, a few residences still had limited lighting but retained internet connectivity through backup generators. Students expressed frustration over the blackout, with one individual lamenting the impact on their frozen meal preparations. Despite these challenges, residents of New Vassar observed lights flickering briefly around the time of the explosion.

Recent months have seen sporadic reports of manhole explosions in the area, with incidents occurring in Harvard Square and near Northeastern University due to various factors such as cable failure and rainfall. Prior to the explosion at MIT, heavy rainfall had drenched Cambridge and Boston throughout the afternoon and evening of May 5, 2024.

This event marks a rare occurrence of power loss at MIT, with the most recent instance dating back to November 30, 2012, when portions of Cambridge, including East Cambridge and Kendall Square, experienced a significant blackout. For additional updates and information regarding the incident, individuals are directed to visit The article will continue to be revised as new details emerge.