Moment New York man, 57, suffers second-degree burns after being engulfed by huge fireball that erupted from Queens sidewalk as he went to pay his phone bill
- A man was walking down the street in Queens when an underground explosion shot flames through a grate engulfing the pedestrian in flames last Thursday
- Barry West, 57, was walking to pay his cell phone bill near the intersection of Farmers Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard when the incident occurred
- Surveillance footage captured the moment the fireball shot into the air at around 5:30 pm injuring West and leaving burn marks on the second story window
- He is currently suffering from second-degree burns and is being treated at the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York
- Energy supplier Con Ed have yet to offer a possible explanation for the blast
Dramatic surveillance footage captured the moment a New Yorker suffered second-degree burns after a sidewalk grate exploded in a fireball as he went to pay a bill.
Barry West, 57, was walking to pay his cell phone bill near the intersection of Farmers Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard in St Albans, Queens, when the blast erupted at around 5:30 pm last Thursday.
Surveillance footage captured the shocking moment when the smoking grate erupted in a burst of flames.
West, a father, was engulfed by the flames, but managed to stumble out of the fireball moments later looking stunned by what had just happened.
Barry West is pictured walking into a store in Queens when flames erupted out of a sidewalk grate. Smoke can be seen pouring from the grate moments before the blast
West was engulfed in flames when an underground explosion shot flames high into the sky on Thursday evening
West miraculously walks away and is now recovering from second-degree burns
Con Ed says that they are investigating the cause of the shocking explosion
The flames shot so high into the sky they burned the second-story window above the store. West is currently suffering from second-degree burns and is being treated at the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
He is expected to survive his injuries.
When shown the video, his neighbor Carrol Hamblin gave NBC an explanation to how West survived, ‘See how God just picked him up and took him out of that fire. He staggered and he had his hands up and rubbed his head as he fell. Just a miracle.’
Margie Townsend told NBC she is glad West was able to walk away but is gravely concerned about what went wrong, ‘Definitely there was some type of malfunction and if it’s underneath the ground that means something wasn’t maintained and I’m just glad he walked and I hope he’s not seriously injured.’
NYPD responded to the call on Thursday evening. An investigation into what caused the explosion is ongoing, with no explanation so-far offered.
Underground explosions are a dangerous but not uncommon occurrence. They can be due to a multitude of reasons such as old infrastructure, rats, over usage, or salt water damage to the electrical cords.
West was walking into the T-mobile store at the intersection of Farmers and Baisley Boulevard at around 5:30 pm when the underground explosion occurred
Con Ed spokesperson Alina Suriel said, ‘We are fully 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.’
Con Ed refused to comment further on the blast when contacted by DailyMail.com, and have not offered any possible explanation for what caused it.
This isn’t the first Con Ed explosion in Queens. Back in 2018 the New York night sky bathed in eerie blue light after explosion at Con Edison electric plant, that brought the city to a halt for three bewildering minutes and grounded all flights at La Guardia airport.