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Underground Flushing Street Fire Forces Evacuation Of 7 Buildings

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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A gas line rupture forced the evacuation of  seven buildings in Flushing, Queens Friday afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m., when an underground electrical manhole explosion caused the gas to shoot up to Main Street and 75th Avenue, which is a mainly commercial area.

The fire was put out around 7 p.m. after Con Edison was able to shut off the gas valves. Earlier FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said officials had let the fire burn to stop any escaping gas and not allow it to form pockets that would cause further explosions.

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Reports From Main Street In Flushing


“It kind of coming out of the manhole and a little bit further down looked like it was seeping out of the ground,” one witness said.

Firefighters went to each of the evacuated buildings to make sure things were safe.  Everyone has since been allowed to return to their homes and businesses.

Terry Sheridan of 1010 WINS reports that some residents had been complaining about the smell of gas in the area for a while.  They said Con Ed sent trucks to the area, but they didn’t find any cause for the leak or an odor.

Con Ed claims the incident came about mainly because of an electrical fire, but the fire department said it was basically a gas-fueled fire.

No one was hurt in the fire, but power was knocked out on several blocks.

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