A gas leak on Nov. 25 prompted the evacuation of nearly 100 people from a New York City Equinox club before a related explosion shattered the building's first-floor windows, according to multiple news reports. No one was injured from the blast.
Shortly before 4 p.m., New York firefighters responded to reports of a possible electrical fire in the basement of an Equinox club in Manhattan's Upper West Side, located between 91st and 92nd streets. The smell of smoke and gas had triggered the club's fire alarms and prompted an evacuation, according to an ABC 7 report.
Responding firefighters discovered a malfunctioning Consolidated Edison power transformer under a sidewalk. The transformer's electrical circuits had caused a carbon monoxide leak.
Four businesses, including Equinox, and several residential units were evacuated before the explosion occurred. Consolidated Edison shut down the gas and electric supplies to the health club, as well as the gas supply for the entire block.
Traffic was temporarily stopped in the area. The area's gas supply was restored the evening of Nov. 26.
New York's Department of Buildings imposed a full vacate order for Equinox due to the structural damage to the building, according to ABC 7.
"Gas is a very dangerous substance, and a spark can be caused by many things," FDNY Assistant Chief John Hodgens told ABC 7. "Something as little as a telephone ringing or a light switch being turned on can trigger an explosion."
Officials from the Department of Buildings inspected the Equinox club on the evening of Nov. 25 and noted damages to a concrete masonry wall separating an exercise room and a meter room in the building's cellar, Pix 11 reported. They also noted damages to the building's electrical wiring and gas plumbing systems. However, they said the building is not in danger of collapsing and poses no hazard to the public.
Equinox did not immediately respond to Club Industry’s inquiries about the extent of the damage.