Weeks after error, blasting to resume at 2nd Avenue subway site
The MTA has banned the man in charge of blasting at the Second Avenue subway construction site where a botched explosion last month sent chunks of rock hurling at nearby stores and apartments, the agency said Thursday.
Blasting at the site, which had been suspended since the Aug. 21 incident, was scheduled to resume Friday, officials said.
In a report detailing the screwups at what will be the 72nd Street entrance to the new subway line, the MTA confirmed its initial assessment that the explosives were inappropriately placed at an angle instead of vertically and that the heavy metal plates meant to keep dust and debris below street level weren't anchored down.
Luckily, no workers or pedestrians were injured; a half-dozen windows were busted.
The agency said the subcontractors doing construction work at the site had made similar errors twice before, though there was no damage in either incident.
The MTA also revealed that the FDNY suspended the license of the blaster-in-charge after the incident, and the MTA decided to prohibit the unidentified employee, which works for an outside contractor, from returning to work.
A spokeswoman for a subcontractor doing work at the site did not return messages for comment.
"From this moment forward, blasting operations will be subject to additional management scrutiny and enhanced safety procedures to ensure that the community and workers are kept safe," said Michael Horodniceanu, head of the agency's mega-projects. The added precautions include hiring a new head blaster and a second blaster to verify the work is safe. An outside safety monitor was also hired.
The subway is expected to be running by the end of 2016.