Monday, October 29, 2007

A Horror in Harlem

At precisely 5:05 pm fifteen years ago next Tuesday, in what was undoubtedly Rivertons' darkest hour, a deafening explosion issued from the top of 45 east 135th street ripping open the uppermost floors, killing three residents and injuring at least fifteen more. The gas explosion , which was more than likely ignited when an 84 year old man tripped his light switch, rained debris and terror upon the the stunned community. The blast and the resulting conflagration forced the evacuation of more than sixty apartments, and was battled by upward of 160 firefighters, who, themselves sustained nearly twenty injuries. The Red Cross established its command post at neighboring PS 197 where evacuees were housed until long term accommodations were arranged. At your leisure, please take pause to remember those lost or injured on the horrible night that was November 2, 1992. rel="tag">Horror Harlem


Glenn Hunter said...

I remember that day vividly. I was coming home from work and got off at the 138th St - Grand Concourse(BX) stop. I ran into Les Thompson and as we were approaching the Madison Ave. Bridge, we realized that there was no traffic in either direction on the bridge.
A gentleman who had just crossed the bridge on foot into the Bronx informed us that there was an explosion in one the buildings on 135th St. & Madison Ave. in Riverton, but he did not know which one!
At the time, I lived in 2170 Madison and my parents were in 2160 Madison. Needless to say, many unpleasant scenarios ran through my mind. I remember Les going out of his way to assure me that everything would be fine, as we walked over the bridge together.
When we finally were able to see that the building that was affected was 45 East 135th and not 2160 or 2170, I felt relieved momentarily. I saw a gaping whole in the building and wondered if anyone had been injured or killed by the explosion.
I remember seeing Keith Wright, who also lived in 2160 at the time, and he told me that the explosion was so intense that it knocked him out of his bed while he was napping. My father told later that evening that he felt the tremor from the blast.
I will never forget that day for as long as I live. I remember learning that many of the residents of 45, who would have normally been home, were on a bus trip to Atlantic City.

Glenn Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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