Stunning video captures the moment a man miraculously manages to walk off after strolling into the path of an exploding sidewalk grate in Queens.
Barry West was on Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans around 5:30 p.m. Thursday when a massive plume of smoke and flames shot up from underground — knocking him backwards to the ground as he tried to walk by, the disturbing clip obtained by NBC New York shows.
West — who was going to pay his cell phone bill — managed to get up after the blast and walk off in the opposite direction, according to the report.
He was taken to Nassau University Medical Center with second-degree burns, where loved ones said he is shaken but in good spirits.
“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,” friend Carrol Hamblin told the network. “Just a miracle. Nobody but God could do that. Not a man.”
The surveillance video shows some smoke emanating from the sidewalk grate moments before the explosion.
“The safety of the public, our customers, and our employees is our number one priority,” a Con Edison spokesman said in a statement to the Post. “We are fully 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.”