An iron manhole cover reportedly flew up through the floor of a Metro Transit Authority (MTA) bus August 4, lodging directly below a passenger’s seat. The cover ripped through the plywood lining the bus floor, injuring the woman sitting in the seat directly above it. She was later treated for injuries to her leg from the splintering plywood.
The accident occurred at 170th St. at Inwood Avenue as the bus was travelling toward Manhattan. The driver reported hearing a loud noise and then the screams of the passenger when the cover emerged beneath her seat.
The manhole provides access to a sewer line, but it was unclear what caused it to dislodge. The NYC Department of Environmental Protection had no record of an explosion that could have potentially caused the cover to burst through the bottom of the bus. One theory is that the ground underneath buckled under the weight of the bus, shooting the lid upward. Authorities are continuing to investigate.
Previous incidents involving manhole covers
This is not the first time a manhole cover has caused an accident in New York. Back in 2014, a cover crashed through a truck’s windshield on the Cross Bronx Expressway, killing the driver. Investigators believed that another vehicle ran over the cover and caused it to catapult into the truck.
Manhole covers can weigh up to 300 pounds, are usually made from cast iron and are typically three feet in diameter. The bus floor was made of a rubber mesh-covered plywood, so it’s easy to see how the cover could have caused the damage it did.
Although this particular incident was unusual, accidents do occur on mass transit and sometimes passengers suffer injuries. If this is the case for you or a loved one, call on the dedicated New York bus accident attorneys at [ln::firm_name] today.