Two workers died when the oil tank they were digging up at a home not far from a school in Westchester exploded Thursday, according to officials.
It's not clear what caused the blast at the home at Hillside Avenue and School Street in Hastings-on-Hudson at about 11:30 a.m., the mayor of the town told NBC 4 New York.
Hastings on Hudson Police Chief Anthony Visalli said when the tank exploded, it sailed 75 feet into the air, killing both workers.
Neither the supervisor nor any of the home's tenants were hurt.
Django Morrison, who lives in the home near where the tank exploded, was outside with the two workers moments before the blast.
"They had just unburied it and were getting the excavator here, and the guy who was running it asked him to cut it open so they could clean it out and I decided at that point I was going inside because I didn't want to be around if anything went wrong. And 30 seconds later, there was a huge explosion," said Morrison.
Chopper 4 footage showed a vast emergency response at the scene and a deep trench in the backyard. Firefighters were combing the woods behind the house, where a large, rusty container was seen.
"You knew that something really bad happened because the force and the sound of that explosion was like a catastophe," said neighbor Beth Fonfrias.
"We could see flames shooting up and black smoke, and then it was very quiet after that. Eerily quiet," she said.
The explosion site is near Hastings High School. In an alert sent to parents, the school district said everyone inside was safe.