WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn, N.Y. — Three utility employees working on a water line in a trench suffered burns to their faces when a gas line erupted into flames. According to Bklyner.com, Fire Department of New York officials stated that a 12-inch gas pipe ruptured while the employees worked replacing a water main. The injured employees were working in a trench on Kent Avenue and Broadway. There was no word on the current physical condition of the burned workers. However, FDNY officials said that their injuries were non-life threatening.
Three workers toiling in a trench were replacing a water main when the gas line caught fire. The three burned workers received emergency transport to the Cornell Burn Unit in Manhattan for treatment. Fire officials did not describe the extent of the injuries. One FDNY chief explained to the Brklyner.com that the men are lucky to be alive. The chief said that in his experience, ruptured gas lines are known to explode and kill workers trapped nearby. The preliminary report from the scene, according to the Brklyner.com, indicated that a contractor working on the water main hit the gas line and caused the rupture.
Over one hundred firefighters and 25 emergency medical personnel responded to the area. All they could do was wait. National Grid, who owns the gas line, sent workers in to shut the gas line down. Until then, workers backfilled the trench where the fire burned. Flames were visible above the surface of the trench. Firefighters kept a close eye on the trench to make sure the fire did not spread to nearby buildings. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the trench. The fire reportedly burned for at least three hours while crews worked to cap the broken line.
The incident forced officials to shut down Kent Avenue and reroute traffic. This caused major traffic tie-ups in the area.
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