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Why do manholes explode in NYC?

Why do manholes explode in NYC?

The phenomenon typically happens after a major winter storm, as de-icing salt seeps into the ground, corroding subterranean wires and unleashing gas, which in some cases sparks fires and blows the several-hundred-pound manholes straight into the sky.

Why are there so many maintenance hole fires in NYC?

The most common cause is out of Chemistry 101: a combination of aging electrical infrastructure — especially old wiring — and rain or snow melt mixed with corrosive salt spread to reduce icing on roads. Average number of manhole incidents the New York City Fire Department responded to by month from 2009 to 2018.

Why are electrical fires blue?

The power company that runs the substation, Con Edison, said the blue light was caused by an “electrical arc flash,” according to a statement reported by ABC News. When a strong electrical current passes through the air, it causes a blinding light, called an electric arc.

Why do manholes not get covered with snow?

I assume sewer pipes are heated or at least insulated, because they can’t get cold enough to let their contents freeze, thus the heat would travel upwards as heat does, and cause the manhole cover to become warmer, thus melting any snow that lies on it. The covers are solid steel, which is a great conductor of heat.

Why are manholes smoking?

Why do manholes catch fire, explode or smoke? When underground service cables or connections fail, it may result in cable material burning and producing smoke or fire, Commissioner of Public Works Erin Gallentine explained in an email.

What causes maintenance hole fire?

When rock salt melts ice, and the water seeps down manholes and into electrical units, it can set off fires and explosions strong enough to pop a 300-pound manhole cover five stories into the air.

Is blue fire real?

It may look like a scene from another planet or some high-tech Hollywood special effects – but this volcano venting bright blue flames is a real, rarely-seen phenomenon of nature. The glowing, electric-blue flames are caused by combustion of sulfuric gases.

Is green fire hotter than blue?

Blue flames have more oxygen and get hotter because gases burn hotter than organic materials, such as wood. For example, the element lithium will produce a pink flame, while the element tungsten will produce a green flame.

Why is the safety of Con Edison so important?

“The safety of our employees and the public is our top priority,” said Robert McGee, a spokesperson for Con Edison. “While there are some risks in the delivery of electricity, we are constantly developing and implementing innovative technology to try to minimize electrical fires and explosions.”

Is there a lawsuit against Con Ed for manhole explosion?

The complaint, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleges the utility was negligent “in allowing a dangerous and explosive condition to exist within a manhole.” The case is ongoing. Con Ed, which employs a small army of lawyers, regularly fights off injury lawsuits related to manhole explosions.

How did the man get hurt in the NYC manhole explosion?

Lide was hospitalized with extensive injuries to his spine and shoulder, according to a lawsuit filed against Con Edison in Brooklyn. It took him six months to recover from surgery, and he says he may soon need another operation. In total, he racked up $75,000 in medical bills, according to his complaint.