Firefighters, Utility Workers Hurt by Manhole Blasts in Brooklyn: FDNY

Three firefighters and two utility workers were hurt after a pair of manhole explosions Thursday night in Brooklyn, the FDNY says. 

The firefighters, working in Bushwick, and the utility workers, in Boerum Hill, were both hurt while responding to manhole fires late in the evening, according to officials. 

The firefighters were working at a manhole fire on Broadway when the cover shot up and somehow landed on one of them. One firefighter seriously hurt his leg, and two others had minor injuries. All three were taken to Kings County Hospital and are in stable condition.

The utility workers were responding to a call at Nevins and Pacific streets when two of them were injured. One was taken to Bellevue in serious condition, while the other had minor injuries. 

In both blasts, carbon monoxide levels had risen around the time of the blast and apartments nearby were temporarily evacuated.

Friday morning, business owners whose shops are near the site of the blast in Bushwick reported having no electricity. About a dozen stores were affected, and a grocer said he was told by Consolidated Edison that it would be at least 10 hours before power could be restored.

The two explosions were two of the 14 manhole fires in Brooklyn on Thursday. 

On Wednesday, NBC 4 New York cameras captured a fire flaring from a manhole in Chelsea in Manhattan. 

Con Ed and FDNY have been busy responding to hundreds of manhole fires and explosions in recent weeks. The utility says they're common this time of year because the salt used to treat icy roads corrodes underground wiring when it seeps below the surface. 

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