Cab with dad, son inside goes airborne after Manhattan manhole explosion

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Friday, September 6, 2019
Cab with dad, son inside goes airborne after Manhattan manhole explosion
Diana Rocco reports on the manhole explosion in Kips Bay.

KIPS BAY, Manhattan (WABC) -- A cab driver was injured and two passengers shaken up when a manhole exploded in Manhattan Friday morning and sent the vehicle into the air.

It happened on 36th Street and Second Avenue in Kips Bay, and it shut down a section of the street for several hours.

NYPD traffic agent Steven Goldberg said several cars were stopped at the light when he suddenly heard a boom.

The noise was so loud his ears began ringing, and he said the force lifted up a taxi with passengers inside.

"Traffic was going as normal, and then the taxi cab and all the rest of the traffic going southbound on Second Avenue stopped at the red light," he said. "And then, all of the sudden, there was a big boom, an explosion, coming out of the manhole. The plates lifted up part of the cab...EMS came in a matter of seconds."

Inman Mussud was in that cab with his son on their way to school

"It was a huge explosion, the cab was airborne I don't know how many feet, he said. "But we were also up in the air inside the cab. I hit my head on the roof of the cab. My son did the same thing."

He said the cab filled up with the smell of smoke, and the vehicle's back end was damaged.

"It was very loud, and the cab was immediately filled with smoke, a lot of smoke inside the cab," he said. "Initially, I though somebody hit us from behind...I was very shocked. The first few minutes, I didn't know where I was. The only thing in my mind was I keep asking my son if he was OK."

The left lane was closed while Con Edison worked to repair underground wiring that exploded, and the taxi driver was hospitalized with minor injuries. Mussud said he's glad they weren't seriously hurt, but he's a little nervous to get back in a taxi for awhile.

"I think maybe we will walk next time," he said.

Second Avenue was briefly closed between 37th and 34th streets.


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