July 5, 2023 By Bill Parry
An explosion stunned lunchtime crowds along Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City Wednesday afternoon.
A truck from the city’s Department of Transportation was parked on Vernon near 47th Avenue when it caught fire and exploded just after 1 p.m. on July 5. The four DOT employees who were working on pothole repairs in the Long Island City area parked their truck and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. They noticed the vehicle smoking and it eventually caught fire before ultimately exploding, causing the evacuation of several stores and restaurants along the corridor.
None of the four DOT employees were injured in the blast.
“Safety of our employees and others is a top priority and we will investigate today’s truck fire,” a DOT spokesman said.
While the DOT workers were unharmed, two civilians suffered minor injuries but refused medical attention from EMS at the scene, according to the FDNY.
There were no injuries to firefighters who responded and brought the fire under control a short while later.