NY – PORT EWEN – An explosion following a report of a natural gas leak at the intersection of West Main and Broadway damaged at least one apartment building and caused an area of Port Ewen to be evacuated late Sunday evening.
No injuries were immediately reported. Representatives of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. and the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately know what caused the explosion, which occurred around 8:45 p.m. Sunday. Port Ewen fire officials were at the scene and not available for comment.
Denise VanBuren, a Central Hudson vice president, said crews had been called to the area to do a markout of gas lines earlier Sunday because the town of Esopus was attempting to fix a water main break at the location. Crews returned to the scene because of reports of a gas odor, and a Central Hudson employee disconnected the electricity to the building that was damaged before the explosion occurred, VanBuren said. No Central Hudson workers were injured, VanBuren said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Harry VanVliet said Sunday night that the building was evacuated because of reports of the gas leak but it was not yet known what caused the explosion.
Crystal Henderson, who lives near where the explosion occurred, said the noise was extremely loud.
Robert Pagan, who lives above Mario’s Pizza on Broadway in Port Ewen, said emergency personnel called his house shortly after the blast and told him to evacuate. It sounded like someone crashed through the house wall, said Pagan, who added that the blast was severe enough to cause pictures hanging on his wall to fall off.