FDNY: Queens Propane Explosion Injures 2

CBS 2 - October 27, 2009

by Sean Hennessey

Man Trying To Empty Tank Somehow Lets Vapors Waft Into House; Building Blown Out And Buckles

NEW YORK (CBS) - It was a blast felt for blocks. A gas explosion blew apart a Queens home on Monday night, injuring several people.

The force of the explosion blew out the back of the building and bowed the front of it -- all after an early evening blast heard from blocks away.

"I heard a large explosion," resident Bob Kiernan said.

Kiernan and his wife rushed to the front of the building where he saw debris everywhere he looked. Then he and his wife went inside.

"We heard people screaming in Chinese," Kiernan said. "My wife is Chinese so she started talking to them from the doorway and within seconds of my calling 9-1-1 we heard sirens in the distance, so we kept telling them stay calm help is on the way."

The explosion sent two occupants away in ambulances -- a man found in the back with burns on his body and a woman buried by rubble and rescued by firefighters.

As for the cause, FDNY Chief Edward Kilduff said one of the victims was emptying his propane tank.

"We're not sure why but he was in the backdoor. The wind must have shifted and it actually blew the propane into the house, so now we have the propane in the house. When it hit an ignition point, it blew up," Kilduff said.

Please stay with CBS 2 HD and wcbstv.com for more on this developing story.