A fire in a power line under Queens Boulevard in the Borough Hall section of Kew Gardens last Wednesday caused rush-hour delays of up to an hour for passengers on the Queensbound E and F lines.
The fire caused a manhole cover to explode and tied up traffic along the boulevard as well.
The electrical line, which fed AC power to the two subway lines, was lost at 6:50 p.m. due to the fire, New York City Transit spokesman Diedre Parker said. Service was suspended from 78th Avenue to the end of both lines.
"Between 7:08 and 7:34 the situation impacted the E and F lines," Con Edison spokeswoman Joy Farber said. "When salt is put on road surfaces, it creates corrosion in wiring."
Faber said the power company had been experiencing similar problems throughout the city with the onset of snowy winter conditions.
A system operations inspector with the Queens division of the Office of Emergency Management who asked for anonymity said the burned-out wire cables fed power to subway train signal lights, which regulate subway traffic.
"Safety is paramount," the inspector said in explaining the delays in service due to the fire.
Half of the manhole cover was visible a few feet away from the hole where it been blown into the air, smoke still billowing from it. The explosion occurred just a few feet away from the first stop for the northbound Q74 bus, on the south side of Queens Boulevard. That block and the three west of it, were cordoned off by fire and police vehicles, which created a traffic bottleneck on the boulevard.
"We don't even know where the other half is," the inspector said, referring to the manhole lid, which was split in half in the explosion. Despite the violence of the explosion, there were no injuries.
©2000 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.