Updated 09/13/2012 11:45 PM
Blasting To Resume Friday At Site Of Second Avenue Subway Accident
The MTA says it will resume blasting Friday at a Second Avenue subway construction site where an explosion sent debris rocketing into the street three weeks ago. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.
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It was just over three weeks ago that surveillance cameras recorded the scene as debris and dust blew out of a Second Avenue subway construction pit, rocketing up eight stories and raining chunks of concrete down onto 72nd Street .
Miraculously, no one was injured and the damage was confined to broken windows and residents' shattered nerves.
The review that the MTA released on Thursday found a perfect storm of human errors caused the problem.
According to the report, the holes were drilled on an angle and should have been drilled vertically. The timing of the blasts were also too close together, causing the blast to get out of control. In addition, the decking wasn't fully secured.
So the MTA says starting with the blasting on Friday, it's implementing more oversight and improved procedures to ensure everyone's safety.
A superintendent will sign-off on a pre-blast checklist. A second licensed blaster will double-check that each blast is prepared as outlined in the plan and a double layer of protective blast mats will be used when blasting in shafts. The MTA has also hired a safety consultant to double-check the blasting.
The contractor also has to show, in drawings, how the steel plates at ground level will be able to withstand the blast.
Micah Kellner, the State Assemblyman who represents the neighborhood, wants more assurances that the contractor will be held responsible if there are any more problems.
"There will be a severe penalty for this contractor if we do have another incident and they'll be removed from the project," he said.
Some residents say they're in a fix because they know the work has to get finished.
"Most people in the neighborhood are pretty disgusted by the whole process and the whole project and very few of us feel safe," said one resident.
The first phase of Second Avenue construction isn't scheduled to be complete for another four years.