THREE simultaneous gas explosions underground blew eleven 50lb manhole covers into the air.
Fortunately no-one was injured in the freak incident in Linthwaite yesterday morning.
One of the manhole covers even flew over a wall, fire crews were told when they were called to Royd House Lane.
And the force of the blast could be heard three miles away in Scapegoat Hill.
Police sealed off the road as gas and electricity engineers were called to investigate the cause of the underground explosions.
Fire crews were alerted at 11.33am after three explosions and quickly called emergency gas and electricity engineers.
A 50-metre exclusion zone was set up as people rushed from their homes, not knowing what was happening.
Ron Crabtree, who owns the nearby Sair Inn , said: “I heard a loud bang.
“I didn’t go out, but the road was cordoned off.
“A firemen told me manhole covers flew off up in the air.”
An investigation is now under way to establish the cause, but initial suggestions indicate a spark from electricity wiring ignited gases beneath the manholes.
Huddersfield Fire Incident Commander Grahame Calcraft said: “We attended to reports of explosions in the Hoyle Ing area, Linthwaite. On arrival 11 manhole covers had been blown off by three explosions.
“An exclusion zone was set up, but many people remained in their homes.
“Gas and electricity suppliers were notified and even after the explosions there was still 20% gas so we assisted with ensuring no other ignitions were made.
“Understandably residents were panicking and had gathered to see whether it was safe.
“We remained on site assisting for two-and-a-half hours and the incident was still ongoing with engineers when we left.”
A spokesman for Northern Power Grid said: “We were made aware of a explosion at Hoyle Ing at 11.56am.
“Initially 65 homes experienced loss of power.
“Our engineers have been on site all day and restored supply to homes by early evening.
“We would like to apologise to those customers affected.”