A manhole explosion in East Harlem injured two people on Saturday, fire officials said.
The victims were contractors for Con Edison and suffered burns to their faces, Con Ed said. They were conscious and taken to Harlem Hospital and their conditions weren't known.
The manhole exploded at Second Avenue and East 110th Street at about 2:30 p.m.
Witnesses say there was a loss of electricity nearby.
The contractors were moving underground telephone lines when the explosion happened.
Con Ed didn't yet know what caused it.
“I heard a large BOOM and then the lights inside the store started flickering,” said witness Janet Adams, who works at a nearby store. “I got scared and was getting ready to run out here.”
Adams watched as other contractors struggled to free one of their colleagues from the manhole.
“They remained calm but you can see in their face they were nervous,” she said. “They finally brought him out and he was out of it, shaking like he was dizzy. They sat him down until the firefighters came.”
Two injured in manhole explosion in East Harlem: FDNY
by Chris Brito and Rob Hoell
Updated at 06:37PM, July 29, 2017
EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — A manhole explosion in uptown Manhattan wounded two people Saturday afternoon.
The blast happened on East 110th Street and Second Avenue around 2:30 p.m., the FDNY said.
"It sounded like a thunderbolt. " said Jonathan Merino was a few stores down from the blast.
Two Con Edison contractors were making repairs inside the manhole when the blast occured. They received flash burns to the face and were conscious as they were taken to a nearby hospital.
Their conditions are unknown at this time.
Fire officials believe gas may have sparked the powerful bast.
"When we arrived they were on the sidewalk," said FDNY captain Kenneth Winkler.
Con Ed released a statement saying the men received flash burns to their faces and were both taken to Harlem Hospital.
"You pray for their recovery as quickly as possible," said Rosalind Briones, who lives in the neighborhood.
The Fire Marshall is investigating the exact cause of the blast.