Elevators Evacuated: Students Rescued Amid Power Outage Chaos

Cambridge, Massachusetts – Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were rescued from elevators following a manhole explosion near the campus, causing power outages in several buildings along Amherst Alley. The incident, which occurred near W85 and Tang Hall, led to a response from the Cambridge Fire Department as they investigated the cause of the explosion, which luckily resulted in no reported injuries.

According to an MIT Alert notification sent out in the early hours of May 6, buildings such as W85, Tang Hall, Next House, New House, and McCormick were affected by the power outage. Students in Next House found themselves trapped in elevators, prompting firefighters to come to their rescue. Presently, all elevators have been successfully cleared.

An update from emergency.mit.net revealed that the power outage was due to damage to MIT electrical equipment caused by the manhole explosion. Repair work was being carried out by the electrical crew, although a timeline for power restoration was not provided at the time. The situation led to the closure of Amherst Alley and Audrey Street until further notice.

In the aftermath of the incident, power was eventually restored to all impacted buildings by the early morning hours. Despite the restoration, the grassy area between W85 and Tang Hall remained closed as a precautionary measure.

Residents in affected areas were left with limited lighting but maintained internet connectivity through backup generators. Some students expressed frustration over the outage, with one student, Emma Shi ’26, lamenting the impact on her frozen meal preparations. Additionally, neighboring areas reported flickering lights at the time of the explosion.

The manhole explosion at MIT echoes similar incidents in recent months in the area, including explosions in Harvard Square and near Northeastern University linked to rainfall and equipment failure. The occurrence of the explosion in Cambridge and Boston came after a day of steady rain in the region.

MIT last experienced a significant power outage in 2012, affecting large parts of Cambridge. For further updates on the situation, individuals are encouraged to visit emergency.mit.net for additional information as it becomes available.