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MTA: Second Avenue Subway Blasting To Resume Following Review Of Underground Explosion

New Safety Measures Have Been Put In Place
Workers at the scene of a blast on 72nd Avenue and 2nd Avenue following a blast gone awry on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Workers at the scene of a blast on 72nd Avenue and 2nd Avenue following a blast gone awry on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Blasting will resume at 72nd Street as part of the Second Avenue subway construction project, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday.

All blasting projects for the subway project will now be subject to more scrutiny and protections, the MTA said.

Blasting had been halted following an Aug. 21 incident that spewed debris, blew out windows and rattled some Upper East Siders’ nerves.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

The MTA said the scheduled blast at 72nd Street and Second Avenue had more force than expected.

The construction was put on hold while a review of that incident was completed.

The MTA has determined the cause of the incident was human error and the person responsible has been suspended, according to the MTA.

The agency also announced a number of new safety procedures in an effort to prevent a similar incident.

EXTRA: Read MTA’s Report On Blasting Incident

“We have completed our review of the incident and have implemented a number of corrective actions. From this moment forward, blasting operations will be subject to additional management scrutiny and enhanced safety procedures to ensure that the community and workers are kept safe,” said Michael Horodniceanu, President of MTA Capital Construction, in a news release.

The Department of Buildings found the Aug. 21 incident did not cause any structural damage to nearby buildings.

The MTA said the explosion happened 40 feet below street level as crews working on the Second Avenue subway line were making room for an escalator shaft.

Some of the new safety measures put in place include requiring a superintendent to sign off on a pre-blast checklist and having a second licensed blaster to verify that each blast has been prepared in accordance with the approved blast plans, according to the MTA.

The transit agency also announced it has hired an independent safety consultant to monitor the safety of the blasting.

Blasting for the Second Avenue subway project will resume Friday.

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