Video Shows Man Engulfed In Flames After Underground Explosion In NYC

Screenshot/NBC News 4 New York

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Kendall Tietz Contributor
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A 57-year-old father was walking on a Queens sidewalk when an explosion erupted out of a grate that sent flames several feet high, according to surveillance video obtained by NBC New York.

Barry West was thrown onto his chest, but survived the flames by staggering away from the blast, NBC New York reported. He was walking along Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans to pay a cell phone bill on July 22 at around 5:30 p.m.

Friends said he is in good spirits as he receives treatment for second-degree burns at Nassau University Medical Center, NBC New York reported.

Friend Carol Hamblin said it was by the grace of God West survived the explosion, NBC New York reported.

“You can see how God just picked him out of that fire. He staggered. He had his hands up and rubbed his head and fell,” Hamblin said. “Just a miracle. Nobody but God could do that. Not a man.”

In the video, smoke is seen coming out of the grate seconds before the blast, NBC New York reported. Con Edison, the utility company in charge of providing electric, gas, and steam to New York City, did not specify if there had been any recent reports about infrastructure problems where the fire occurred.

Con Edison said that they were “investigating the cause of this event which caused serious injury to a member of the public. We express our sincere concern for the victim and our regret for this incident. We wish him a full and fast recovery,” according to a statement, NBC New York reported.

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