National Grid Contractors Likely to Blame for Joralemon Blowup in Brooklyn Heights

Weegee photo

Weegee photo

A Joralemon Street resident told reporters at the scene of this afternoon’s manhole explosions that a neighbor’s home renovation crew may be to blame. Reports claim that work was being done near 25 Willow Place. [Bklyn20 reports that contractors working for National Grid -- possibly to run a gas line into the home -- may have caused the accident. The Brooklyn Paper reports that Con Ed was working in the area.]

Weegee photo

Weegee photo

BHB’s Weegee adds this dispatch:

Looks like contractors doing excavation work in front of the MTA substation at 25 Willow Pl. hit a gas line, which caused the initial blast at Willow Pl. & Joralemon St.  The electrical lines affected are all MTA, apparently.  Power was supposedly out at Clark St. and Borough Hall for a short while, but was restored quickly.  They were checking surrounding homes for carbon monoxide and gas.  The paving stones on Joralemon around the manhole are upheaved.  The manhole right next to the excavation site cooked off while crews were next to it.  No injuries.

Riverside Apartments resident Andy sends in this dispatch and photos:

Here are some photographs I took from the roof of the Riverside Apartments on the corner of Joralemon and Columbia Place around 1:45.  I live above Iris Cafe, halfway down Columbia Place.  I heard a loud noise that sounded like a truck hitting a bump on the BQE behind my apartment, but it was odd since it echoed through my front door more than the back.

photo by Andy Holz

photo by Andy Holz

photo by Andy Holz

photo by Andy Holz

And BHB tipster Irene sends in this shot of buckled cobblestone on Joralemon Street:

Irene Carroll photo

Irene Carroll photo

Gothamist has a blow by blow of today’s events.

Nabe resident Dan offers this Flickr slideshow.

Headline revised on 1/19/10 based upon additional information

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  • hicks st guy

    buckled cobblestones? they are always buckled, monumental waste of tax money having to repair those cobblestones every few years. there is a reason why 99% of the city is no longer cobblestones. but you have to keep the locals with juice happy.

  • peggy moskowitz

    Was it Perfect Renovation?

  • nabeguy

    Peggy, I was wondering the same thing. I can hear Tony now…”Don’t worry mate, you can start drilling right here”.

  • Ben

    Hey Andy Holz, in that picture of the EMS (in the yellow bunker gear, hands in pockets) – that’s me! awesome :)

  • Dan

    The initial explosion happened at 12:40pm. I was on the phone leaving a voice-mail when it occurred. There was a national grid work crew out in front of the “substation house” on jorolomon past midnight on Saturday. Wild to see emergency vehicles lined back to front from Columbia to Henry.

  • Ian

    My friend’s car was badly damaged by this explosion and then moved into a fire lane was he was promptly ticketed. A handwritten note greeted him explaining the situation. When he got in the car, the battery was dead. Bad day.

    Well done gentlemen, whoever you are.