Two New York construction workers were injured on the job after an explosion rocked a former Chelsea gas station. The site where the explosion occurred is located in the Meatpacking District under the High Line.
Workers were attempting to remove several gas tanks from the location just beneath the elevated park when the explosion happened around 10:25 am. Workers said they heard a large ‘boom’ and saw a worker lying on the ground but still able to move. A fireball was also reported by witnesses, which apparently went out very quickly. Two nearby buildings were evacuated as a precautionary measure.
Firefighters on the scene believe that a spark from the cutting equipment used to remove the tanks heated the tanks and the vapors inside then exploded. The property owner claims works was done properly in the week’s prior to ensure the tanks were empty and the vapor build up was being monitored. These actions were part of the safety plan of the job.
The two injured workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital in serious condition but the injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The work at the construction site has been stopped while the investigation proceeds. The High Line was briefly shut down during the accident but has been reopened. The investigation of the work site explosion is being handled by the City Department of Buildings.