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8/23/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York MTA issues initial findings of Second Avenue subway blasting incident


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has released initial findings in the agency’s investigation into an explosion that occurred yesterday at the site of the Second Avenue subway project in New York City.

Tunnel blasting work went awry at the site at East 72nd Street and Second Avenue yesterday afternoon, creating smoke and causing windows to shatter at nearby buildings, according to New York City news reports.

No one was injured in the incident, MTA officials said in a report on the agency’s website.

According to the report, holes drilled at the shaft for loading explosives normally have been done vertically, allowing the blast pressure to dissipate horizontally. But on Tuesday, rock outcrops that were being blasted at the top of a future escalator needed to be drilled diagonally. When the blast occurred, debris hit the underside of the decking at the southeast corner of the site. The decking lifted, allowing rock to be propelled into the air and onto the street, the online report stated.

“In reviewing yesterday’s incident, we determined that the method used to keep the decking in place above the blast area was inadequate for this type of blast,” MTA officials said in the post.

The agency is taking corrective measures to ensure such incidents do not occur again, such as hiring an independent safety consultant to review all blasting and safety procedures, they said.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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