Oct 29 2012

Video of ConEd building explosion in NYC

Apparently this is the ConEd building at E14th and FDR. Pretty cataclysmic. Shouldn’t be long before news outlets start picking this up. If you’re in the path of this hurricane, get off my damn blog and get to a hurricane shelter ASAP.

And remember, Mitt Romney will get rid of FEMA. He said so himself. But don’t worry, his sons are invested in disaster recovery companies.


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  1. 1

    How does a building explode in a flood? Was it being demolished and something set off the charges?

    How long until some nutter says it was Obama destroying evidence of being born in Kenya?

  2. 2
    Jason Thibeault

    Well, as it turns out, that ConEd building was entirely run by gay workers.

  3. 3

    Do we know what that building does?

    Just saw on a news service that various sites and blogs from the area were down, Gawker, HuffPo, can’t remember who else. Or are they just losing power as the grid goes down like everyone else?

  4. 4

    And I just saw Bloomberg on TV.

    DON’T GO ANYWHERE in NY – it’s too late to seek shelter. Stay where you are. Emergency vehicles are already being blocked by stalled cars in the street.

    You’re stuck wherever you are until the storm passes – and maybe a bit beyond that.

  5. 5
    Stephanie Zvan

    Chris Clarke linked this info about the power plant: http://thevillager.com/villger_293/concernsonconed.html

    There was almost certainly natural gas stored onsite. Most likely culprit, but I have no idea what would have happened.

  6. 6

    ConEd = Consolidated Edison [as in Thomas Edison] = Significant electrical infrastructure.

    Lots of electrical substation equipment plus saltwater. That’s how it explodes in a flood.

    My heart and all my best wishes to the people of New York.

    This is just going to get worse, isn’t it?

  7. 7

    Possibly a (big) transformer explosion

  8. 8

    Unfortunately it’s worse than that.

    It’s a power station. 19 workers trapped there.

  9. 9
    Jason Thibeault

    Bloody hell. Sorry for the flippant remark to AliasAlpha. I’d have assumed they evacuated it too.

    Seconding mildlymagnificent: if you’re already in the hurricane, hole up where you are. If you aren’t being pummeled yet but are in its path, get to shelter ASAP.

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    And yeah, this is a power station, per the link Stephanie provided @5 — and that natural gas is probably responsible for the scale of that explosion.

    Lots of electrical fires breaking out from infrastructure damage citywide. Flooding is pretty terrible.

  11. 11
    Andrew G.

    ConEd has denied on Twitter (@ConEdison) that any employees are trapped.

  12. 12
    Jason Thibeault

    Well thank the FSM for that.

  13. 13

    Ahh I hadn’t considered natural gas, that makes sense.

    Also good to know no one was in the middle of it

  14. 14

    Those are electric arcs you see. The temperatures can reach 10X the heat of the sun. They turn concrete to glass instantly. Just an observation from a retired lineman. My brothers and sisters are there. Be safe.

  15. 15

    Yeah, that’s gotta be electrical.

  16. 16

    That plant is right on the East River where there was lots of flooding. The article mentioned above by #5 Stephanie Zvan says the plant used natural gas and fuel oil, with the mix shifting with the seasons. Since the video does not look like there is fire following the ‘explosions’, I suspect the gas and fuel were not involved. However, there would be pretty damn high voltage on the exposed switchgear & insulators you can see in the picture with the story. Blowing salt water from the bay could certainly provide a conductive path to create one hell of a light show.

    With the location right on the river though, I’d have thought they would have shut that plant down for just that reason.

  17. 17

    Forget FEMA. The Invisible Hand Of The Market will swoop in to save any workers. Remember how well it worked for the employees on the Deepwater Horizon?

  18. 18
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    “How does a building explode in a flood? Was it being demolished and something set off the charges?”

    Those buildings have really HUGE transformers, and if they short out it’s a fireball as all the electricity takes a shortcut.

    Saltwater is really good at causing electrical short circuits.

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