According to The New York Times, seven people were working on the school’s sixth floor when a gas line exploded just after 8:00 p.m., blowing out windows and rattling nearby buildings. From the NY Daily News:
“It was a thunder, a really loud explosion,” said Addae Hicks, 21, a custodial worker on the school’s sixth floor.
The gas line exploded after a contractor hit it with a blowtorch, Hicks said.
“Honestly, I thought it was a bomb,” said Jason Osorio, a custodial worker who dashed out of the rumbling building. “I’m happy to be alive.”