Emergency crews shut down Main Street for several hours after an explosion blew the lid off a manhole Saturday afternoon.

Smoke billowed out of the manhole near the intersection of Higgins Avenue and Main Street around 3:30 p.m.

Police evacuated the neaby Bell Hotel as a precaution.

Police also closed part of Logan Avenue.

The power was cut and several traffic lights in surrounding blocks went out on Main from Higgins to Broadway to Memorial Boulevard, to Logan Avenue, back to Main. Manitoba Hydro said the outage was due to an underground conductor fire at Main and Higgins.

Nearly 1,400 customers lost power, which was restored around 8:15 p.m.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion. Hydro crews were on the scene, along with fire crews, police and paramedics.