Shocking Video Shows Man Survive NYC Sidewalk Explosion | NBC New York



An underground explosion engulfed a Queens sidewalk, sending flames shooting several feet into the air and injuring a man who happened to be standing on the grate at the precise wrong moment, surveillance video exclusively obtained by NBC New York showed.

Barry West was walking along Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans around 5:30 p.m. on July 22 to pay a cellphone bill when the sudden blast occurred without warning. It knocked the 57-year-old father to the ground on his chest, video shows, but he was able to get away before he was burned any worse.

He appeared shaken up, and friends told NBC New York that West suffered second-degree burns. He was said to be in good spirits as he recovers at Nassau University Medical Center, but still stunned by what happened.

Carrol Hamblin told News 4 that she believes her friend had help from above in order to survive the blast.

“You can see how God just picked him out of that fire. He staggered. He had his hands up and rubbed his head and fell,” Hamblin said. “Just a miracle. Nobody but God could do that. Not a man.”

In the surveillance video, some smoke can be seen coming out of the sidewalk grate just seconds before West was blown off his feet.

A statement from Con Edison said that they were “investigating the cause of this event which caused serious injury to a member of the public. We express our sincere concern for the victim and our regret for this incident. We wish him a full and fast recovery.”

The utility did not clarify whether there were any recent reports about problems with the underground infrastructure that caught fire.

44 comments

  1. damn underground transformers. 95% of the time that's what does this. Nearly every transformer under the sidewalk in any city has the potential to do this. If you hear an extra loud buzz, see any smoke, or it's just real hot outside, try to stay away from those grates, because this is possible to happen.

  2. The only question now is how much money can he get from this experience in the from of compensation, because doctor bills don't pay for themselves.

  3. I love how everybody thinks he is going to be a millionaire. Uh no. He didn't suffer any real injuries, so he is not entittled to any REAL money. So if he sues, the only one that will make money is the lawyer. We all know how the system works.

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