Bronx Explosion: High School Blast Injures 3

An explosion occurred Thursday evening at a high school located in Bronx, New York.

Contractors were building a new science lab for John F. Kennedy High School in preparation for the return of students on September 9. The explosion occurred when one of the workers hit a gas line with their blowtorch.

First responders were called in just after 8 p.m. to deal with the earth-shaking explosion. The story behind the blast is still being investigated, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has confirmed that officials are considering it a gas explosion.

The explosion happened on the 6th floor of the high school, but tore through to the fourth floor.

There is currently a hole in the side of the school and the sidewalk is littered with debris.

“Honestly, I thought it was a bomb,” said Jason Osorio, a custodian employed at the Bronx school. “I’m happy to be alive.”

“It was a thunder, a really loud explosion,” said another custodian working at the time of the blast, Addae Hicks.

There were seven people in the building when the explosion took place. Only three people were injured.

Two of the construction workers injured in the explosion were hurt, but their injuries were not life threatening. The third victim was injured more severely and was labeled in critical condition.

The names of the construction workers injured in the Bronx explosion were not released to the media. However, it is known that the two less-injured workers were a 38-year-old and a 53-year-old; the worker in critical condition is a 36-year-old. All three victims were transported to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

“This was a very troubling evening for residents here in Marble Hill,” Mayor de Blasio said about the neighborhood settled on the Bronx border.

“Keep first responders and victims in your thoughts,” the Mayor added in a tweet.

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Neighbors of the Bronx high school thought there was an earthquake.

“The whole house shook completely. I thought the whole house was going to fall down. It was really, really scary,” said Larissa Alvarado.

Christina Pineles added that she was concerned that her home was going to fall. She said her building was “shaking, like it was going to collapse,” after the explosion.

The city is going to inspect the building in the coming weeks to decide if it is structurally sound enough to open in the beginning of September or if students of the school will have to be relocated when summer break ends.

[ image courtesy of Pix 11 and the Daily News ]