July 13, 2010

Exploding Manhole Covers?

I recently stumbled across what I had previously considered an urban legend: the exploding manhole cover. I had heard several stories of this occurrence playing out across Washington on the news but had never seen the aftermath in person.

See picture

Due to the nature of our work, any article containing the word "predict" instantly catches my attention. The following cross-industry article discusses how predictive models are being developed to better identify manhole covers that may need to be inspected or repaired.

Every so often in New York City, a disk of cast iron weighing up to 300 pounds will burst out of the street and fly as high as several stories before clattering back to the blacktop. Flames, smoke or both may issue from the breach, as if somebody had pulled hell’s own pop-top.

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