Passengers aboard an MTA bus traveling along west 170th Street in the Bronx were shocked and amazed when a 300 pound manhole cover burst up through the floor of the moving bus, shredding metal and sending debris flying like shrapnel. The New York City bus accident sent at least one passenger to the hospital with an injury to her ankle (likely caused by flying debris). Authorities are investigating the explosion but don’t suspect foul play.
Exploding manholes may sound like something that you’d see in a movie but it happens more often than you would think in New York City. Similar explosions in the past have sent these heavy pieces of steel flying dozens of feet into the air. Just last year, a manhole nearly sliced a taxi cab in two after gasses built up underneath and were ignited .
Liability in a case like this may be hard to determine. While the woman’s injuries were sustained in a bus accident in New York, the manhole is what caused the accident. Therefore, the owner of the manhole will likely be held responsible for the woman’s injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and even her pain and suffering.
The manhole in question belongs to the New York City and maintained by the Department of Environmental Protection. The reason for the explosion has yet to be determined. Often it’s a build-up of combustible gasses that causes these manhole accidents in New York City. Such gasses can come from leaky pipes, natural methane sources, even burning insulation on the miles and miles of wiring beneath City streets. All it takes is an ignition source to turn these manholes into deadly bombs.
If you have been injured in a manhole accident in New York City (whether that accident was caused by a loose fitting cover, an explosion, or simply a raised lip around the hole), you could be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact an expert New York City sidewalk accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.