Explosion Rocks New York City High School, Severe Injuries Reported
A gas explosion rocked a high school in northwest Bronx late Thursday, severely injuring three workers.
The explosion, reported at 8:09 p.m. Thursday, occurred on the sixth floor of the John F. Kennedy High School, at 99 Terrace View Ave, according to a Consolidated Edison utility spokesman.
CBS Local reports that at least three floors – fourth, fifth and sixth – of the high school sustained heavy damage.
FDNY officials revealed that one of the workers is in critical condition; the other two are in serious condition with non-threatening injuries. All of them were transported to the Jacobi Medical Center.
‘It just broke down when they hit it with a blow torch’
“There’s contractors up there,” a custodian working at the time of the explosion said.
“They’re working up there. So they’re working up there – I think they’re making them do a few classrooms or something like that; chemistry room. And it just broke down when they hit it with a blow torch, and that was it,” he said.
He said that there was no smoke or fire, though he could smell gas following the explosion.
“This school obviously has sustained some very, very serious damage,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the scene. “This was part of a project being run by the school construction authority through a private contractor.”
‘It was the loudest noise I ever heard’
“It was the loudest noise I ever heard,” Fein Fenner, a nearby resident, said.
“I ran away it was so loud. I thought it was a bomb.”
The explosion occurred when a contracting company was conducting upgrades at a science laboratory in the school. Seven contractors were involved in the work, as reported by New York Post.
The school admits a total of 1,291 students, according to the Department of Education.
While Con Ed initially attributed the explosion to a gas leak, it later said the cause was undetermined.
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