An underground explosion Thursday morning caused an evacuation of a section of downtown Asbury Park.

"Something happened in an underground vault we have that caused manhole covers to come out of the ground. Nobody was injured and we currently have about 200 customers without power as a result of the incident," JCP&L spokesman Mark Durbin told New Jersey 101.5.

Crews remained in the downtown area as of noon, investigating what caused the explosion.

A vault is a small room under a manhole cover where electrical equipment is stored.

"My entire house shook sooooo hard...scared me and my poor cat," city resident Briana Nicole Denerstein said on her Facebook page.

One witness told it sounded like a plane hit a building.

Asbury Park Mayor John Moor said there was an evacuation of people people along sections of Cookman and Emory Avenues. Residents were asked to avoid the area of Cookman, Mattison, Lake and Bangs Avenues.

JCP&L was hoping to have power restored by early afternoon, according to Moor.

Fire and police officials from Neptune Township, Ocean Township and the Wanamassa section of the township all assisted Asbury Park in the response to the situation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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