On Thursday, March 26, 2015, shortly after a Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2 Customer Field Rep (CFR) put a stop work order on a private contractors’ work in a private building in lower Manhattan N.Y. a major gas explosion occurred. The explosion caused two buildings to collapse with major damage also to two other buildings. The incident is under investigation as to what took place after the CFR left the work site.
Local 1-2 members working for Consolidated Edison were part of the first responders team, along with the N.Y., Fire Department, Police Department and the EMTs, to respond and secure the area by shutting down the gas systems in that area. Working within feet of the collapsed buildings, Local 1-2 members located and dug up the street to shut the system down, stopping the gas flow.
Local 1-2 officers were on the scene to assist and support the efforts by all that responded. Twenty-two people were hurt in the incident, and two were found dead in the remains of the fallen buildings while rescuers searched for survivors.
Again, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) members played a very important role as first responders in disasters, both man-made and natural, without getting the proper recognition they deserve.