The blast occured at the intersection of Broadway and East 12th Street – near the landmark bookstore, The Strand.
Smoke appears to rising from beneath the street.
Windows nearby have been shattered and buildings have been evacuated.
Firefighters are now entering nearby buildings to investigate the cause of the explosion.
Manhattan is now in deadlock while the FDNY deal with the scene.
It is not clear what has caused the blast – but is believed to have been a gas blast.
No one is reported to have been injured.