MANHATTAN – Firefighters rushed to the Second Avenue subway construction site at East 72nd Street after blasting for the MTA’s mega-project shook the area – and shattered residents’ nerves and windows – Tuesday afternoon.
Firefighters were checking surrounding buildings after the 12:45 p.m. incident and investigating what occurred at the work site, FDNY officials said.
There were no immediately reported injuries, but at least one store, Kolb Art Gallery, on the corner of Second Avenue and East 72nd Street had three broken windows, a worker there said.
“A big billow of black smoke came out from the corner,” said Marsha Kaufman, who runs the gallery. “The whole street was covered in stones and dust.” She said that “big boulders… came right at us.”
Upper East Side resident Susan Schuander was sitting with her back to the window at Kolb Art while making a purchase when the blast shook her off a black leather lounge chair.
“I thought there was going to be another blast,” said Schuander, explaining how she fell forward onto the ground. “I hit the floor. There was a very strong smell of sulfur in the air.”
All work at the site has been suspended at the site until MTA officials find out what went wrong and can guarantee that something like won’t happen again, a spokesman said.
Dynamiting for the “main cavern” of the future East 72nd Street Station, along with late night drilling, was expected to be finished by the summer, MTA officials told residents at a Community Board 8 meeting in February.