Gas, water mains ruptured in Queens construction accident

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Saturday, January 5, 2019
Gas, water mains ruptured in Queens construction accident
CeFaan Kim has the latest on a construction accident in East Elmhurst.

EAST ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- A street collapse at a Queens construction site ruptured a gas line and water main Friday, causing what witnesses described as an explosion that sent dirt and debris flying through the air.

The incident blew out a wall and sent water shooting and spilling into the construction area adjacent to Northern Boulevard in East Elmhurst.

Witnesses described a loud boom that showered their Uber cars with debris, shattering some windows and leaving a hole in the roof of one of the vehicles.

They said it was followed by a tsunami-like dark cloud that made it difficult to see and prompting them to pull over

Con Edison is on the scene, turning off the 24-inch gas main.

The FDNY says no injuries were reported and that all buildings in the area have been checked and are structurally sound.

The exact cause of the street collapse is under investigation, but authorities say it appeared to be related the ongoing construction work being done at the site -- even though no work was being done Friday.

Officials say workers have been digging under the street for some time, which could have weakened the street and caused it to collapse. Fire officials say a stop work order was in effect due to a paperwork violation.

Northern Boulevard remains closed between 112th Place at 114th Street as a result, and drivers are urged to use 34th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard to gain access to the Grand Central Parkway

Four MTA bus lines are affected, with Q66, QM2, QM3 and QM20 buses detoured as follows:

--Eastbound Q66, QM2, QM3 and QM20: Via Northern Blvd, left on 108 St, right on Astoria Blvd and regular route

--Westbound Q66: Via Northern Blvd to Astoria Blvd, left on 108 St, right on Northern Blvd and regular route.

--All corresponding stops will be made along the detoured route.


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