Exploding Manhole Cover Hits Bus Rider In New York City

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

A manhole cover exploded and ripped through the floor of a bus traveling through the Bronx, New York City, hitting a woman who was on her way to a doctor’s appointment.

Josephina Guzman told NBC 4 New York through a translator that the manhole cover hit her in the leg. "She thought one of the tires exploded," said Guzman's friend, translating for her. "She wasn't expecting that." 

The manhole cover tore through plywood and a thick layer of rubber lining the bottom of the bus, NY Daily News reported.

“In my 27 years, between driving and also investigating accidents, this is the first time I’ve seen a manhole cover come through the bottom of the bus,” said Frank Austin, a Transport Workers Union official.

Guzman was on the way to the doctor for a follow-up appointment for a recent hip surgery, but her injuries from the accident included bruises to her leg and a swollen ankle. Guzman didn’t break any bones, but she is currently using a walker to get around.

It’s currently unclear what caused the explosion. Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement, "We are thankful that no one was seriously injured." An unnamed agency official told NY Daily News that the driver rolled over the cover, dislodging it and shooting it into the bus, but Austin doesn’t believe it.

“That would be a good one. A bus tire cannot dislodge a manhole,” he said.

Sources: NY Daily News, NBC 4 New York / Photo credit: Courtesy photo via NY Daily News