Moment New York man, 57, sustains second-degree burns after being engulfed by a massive fireball that erupted from Queens’ sidewalk as he tried to pay his phone bill
- A man was walking on the street in Queens when an underground explosion last Thursday shot flames through a grate that engulfed the pedestrian in flames.
- Barry West, 57, was walking to pay his cell phone bill at the intersection of Farmers Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard when the incident took place
- Surveillance footage captured the moment when the fireball shot into the air around 5:30 p.m., injuring West, leaving burns on the second-floor window
- He currently suffers from second-degree burns and is being treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
- Energy supplier Con Ed has 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 at the intersection of Farmers Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard in St. Albans, Queens, when the explosion broke out around 5:30 p.m. last Thursday.
Surveillance footage captured the shocking moment as the smoking grate burst into flames.
West, a father, was engulfed in 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 were shooting out of a sidewalk grate. Just before the explosion, smoke can be seen coming from the grille
West went up in flames when an underground explosion shot flames high into the sky on Thursday night
West miraculously walks away and is now recovering from second-degree burns
Con Ed says they are investigating the cause of the shocking explosion
The flames shot so high that they set fire to the second-floor window above the store. West is currently suffering from second-degree burns and is being treated at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
He is expected to survive his injuries.
When the video was shown, his neighbor Carrol Hamblin . gave NBC an explanation of how West survived: “Look how God just picked him up and took him out of that fire. He staggered, had his hands up and rubbed his head as he fell. Just a miracle.’
Margie Townsend told NBC she’s happy West was able to walk away, but is very concerned about what went wrong. walked and I hope he is not seriously injured.’
The NYPD responded to the call Thursday night. An investigation into the cause of the explosion is underway, with no explanation yet.
Underground explosions are a dangerous but not uncommon occurrence. They can be due to any number of reasons, such as old infrastructure, rats, overuse, or saltwater damage to the electrical cords.
West walked into the T-mobile store at the intersection of Farmers and Baisley Boulevard around 5:30 p.m. 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 regret this incident. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Con Ed declined to comment further on the blast when DailyMail.com contacted him and did not offer a possible explanation for the cause.
This is not the first Con Ed explosion in Queens. In 2018, the night sky in New York City was bathed in eerie blue light after an explosion at the Con Edison power plant, which brought the city to a halt for three mind-boggling minutes and grounded all flights at La Guardia airport.