Blast under Second Avenue launches taxi into air; 3 inside not seriously hurt


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A construction plate and a taxi on top of it were hurled into the air on Friday by an underground blast that led to the closure of a stretch of Second Avenue, according to witnesses and officials.

Eight blocks of Second Avenue—from East 34th Street and East 42nd Street—were shut down sometime after the blast at 8 a.m. 

The taxi and plate were on Second Avenue, near East 36th Street, right by the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The taxi was stopped at a light at the time, a man inside the cab told 1010 WINS.

The man, named Imran, said he heard a boom and felt a jolt before hitting his head on the roof of the cab as it filled with smoke.

He said he was in the backseat with his 13-year-old son, who he was taking to his second day of eighth grade, when he felt a jolt. He said they were both pushed upwards by the force of it.

"We were stopped, just waiting for a green light, and next thing I knew, a big bang," Imran told 1010 WINS. "And we were both—me and my son—up in the air. Cab—I don't know how many feet up."

The taxi driver was transported to a hospital with minor injuries.

Citizen App video shows a number of fire and police vehicles and a mostly empty Second Avenue around 9 a.m.

Con Ed says it was removing an old gas line that was cleared of any remaining gas Thursday. The line was no longer in use and was being removed to make room for new water and sewer lines. A worker sawed into the line and a cap further down the line blew, sending the plate into the air.

Con Ed said it's investigating what went wrong and that no workers were hurt. 

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