2019-01-09 / Front Page

Construction Collapse Ruptures Water, Gas Lines

A large portion of Northern Boulevard between 112th Place and 114th Street in Corona remains closed this week following a street collapse at a construction site that ruptured a gas line and water main on Friday afternoon.

More than a dozen FDNY units worked with Con Edison employees on January 4th to shut off a water line that had been punctured, fire officials said. The rupture blew out a wall and sent water shooting into the construction area, three stories deep, adjacent to Northern Boulevard.

Witnesses described an explosion that sent soil and debris flying through the air, a “loud boom” that covered cars with debris, shattering windows and forging a gaping hole in the roof of one vehicle.

Eyewitnesses told police a tsunami-like dark cloud followed the blast, obstructing vision and forcing drivers to pull over to the side of the road, a police source said.

A Con Edison gas main ruptured when the street collapsed, an agency spokesperson said. Crews shut down the valves feeding the line and removed pressure to the pipe, the spokesperson said.

No injuries were reported and all buildings in the area were inspected and determined structurally sound, an FDNY spokesperson said.

The exact cause of the street collapse remains under investigation. The collapse appears to be related to ongoing construction at the site, where a Stop Work Order was recently issued, a Department of Buildings spokesperson said.


–Liz Goff

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