An explosion Wednesday morning injured three contractors installing a new gas main on a street and two police officers in Bayonne, NJ, officials said.
The explosion occurred at 9 a.m. at East 40th Street and Chosin Few Way, Police said.
Contractors from the Cream Ridge Construction company in Hackensack were installing a new gas line for PSE&G, police said.
The new gas line was undergoing testing with pressurized air when the line failed, causing the explosion. No gas was in the line at the time.
“This was concussive type explosion with pressurized air that was in that line at the time,” said Bayonne Deputy Police Chief Peter Nevins. “That pressurized air was released and expelled all the air from that construction hole.”
Nevins said the blast was actually a temporary cap that blew off under too much air pressure. He said those kinds of caps are replaced with permanent ones welded onto the line before gas is pumped in.
Two of the injured contractors ended up rushed to Jersey City Medical Center with serious injuries; one is critical and the other is stable, but under close observation. A third went to the Bayonne Medical Center for minor injuries.
Two Bayonne officers, who were handling traffic at the site at the time of the explosion, ended up treated at the Bayonne Medical Center as a precaution.
The Bayonne Fire Department and PSE&G also responded.
PSE&G confirmed in a statement the “contractors were testing the main with air, which is standard practice, when the incident occurred. There was no natural gas flowing through the main at the time of the incident and the cause is under investigation.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating.