TORONTO - Loud blasts echoed in Toronto's financial district Monday and smoke billowed from under a busy street, disrupting car traffic and subway service and closing a large section of an underground shopping concourse.
Officials said an overheated vault holding electric transformers was to blame.
Police Const. Allyson Douglas Cook said there were no indications of any terrorism link.
Police cleared the normally busy King street in front of the Bank of Nova Scotia headquarters during rush hour. Subways bypassed King Station and streetcars were diverted. The Royal Bank office building and parts of an underground shopping concourse were evacuated due to heavy smoke, fire officials said
The area is where Toronto's five major banks are headquartered.
No injuries were reported. More than 40 firefighters attended the scene.
Fire Platoon Chief Kevin Shaw said firefighters were able to contain the blaze within an hour. He added that once workers were able to cut the power to the vault, firefighters would be able to go in and douse any remaining hot spots.
"It's energized electrical equipment that's in the vault. It overheats, starts melting down ... so that's where you're hearing the crackle and the popping," Shaw told reporters.