Late last month a series of fiery explosions sent over 60 FDNY firefighters scrambling through a neighborhood in Manhattan’s Upper East Side and ConEd workers struggling to find a cause. The chaos began as the sun was setting on May 30th when a bizarre manhole accident in Manhattan caused multiple explosions. The first explosion triggered at least four more.
It also triggered a massive power failure near the intersection of 72nd Street and First Avenue sending at least one building into complete darkness. While no injuries were reportedly caused by the actual explosions, one building was evacuated by the FDNY for fear of a carbon monoxide build up. Residents of the ground floor and basement at 1315 First Avenue were rushed out of the building to prevent potentially life-threatening health complications.
ConEd could not immediately identify the cause of the explosions but at least one media report stated that an underground transformer could potentially be to blame.
New York City’s manholes are the gateways into a massive underground network of piping and conduits that run below our feet. These forgotten voids below the sidewalk are-unfortunately-the perfect place for toxic and volatile gasses to build up unnoticed. All it takes is a single spark from faulty wiring, a poorly maintained transformer, or even something as simple as a power surge for an explosion to occur.
While nobody was hurt in this particular manhole accident in New York City, a few years ago one person was severely injured when a manhole shot into the sky and sliced through their car. In cases such as these, ConEd may be found liable for a victim’s injuries if an investigation determines negligence or recklessness contributed to an explosion.
If you’ve been injured in a similar accident, contact an experienced manhole accident attorney in New York City today. Call The Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 to get the help you need quickly.