Caught on Video: Man Survives Sidewalk Explosion

Shocking surveillance footage captured the moment a man survived an unexpected sidewalk explosion in Queens.

NBC New York reported the man, identified as Barry West, was walking along Farmers Boulevard in St. Albans on July 22 when the explosion occurred. According to the network, the 57-year-old father was on the way to pay his cellphone bill.

The video, which was obtained by NBC New York, shows flames shooting several feet into the air from the sidewalk grate, catching West completely off-guard. Though he was knocked to the ground, the video showed West jumping up and walking away from the flames, preventing more severe injuries.

Multiple outlets reported West was taken to Nassau Medical Center to receive treatment for second-degree burns. NBC New York reported that West remained in "good spirits," though he is still "stunned" by the event.

West's friend Carrol Hamblin told the network that she believed God protected her friend.

"You can see how God just picked him out of that fire. He staggered. He had his hands up and rubbed his head and fell," she said. "Just a miracle. Nobody but God could do that. Not a man."

It is not yet clear what caused the blast. Con Edison, the utility company that provides electric and gas service to New York City, told both NBC New York and the New York Post they were "investigating the cause of this event which caused serious injury to a member of the public."

"We express our sincere concern for the victim and our regret for this incident,'' Con Edison continued. "We wish him a full and fast recovery."

The utility company did not say whether or not there had been any recent reports of problems with underground infrastructure.

This wasn't the first explosion seen in New York state this month.

Last week, a home explosion in Buffalo resulted in one death and damage to seven nearby homes. In a statement to USA Today, Lackawanna Fire Captain Andrew Kaminski said that he believed a gas explosion occurred at the home. The victim, 92-year old Irene Sanok, was believed to be alone in the home at the time of the explosion, according to the Lackawanna public information office.

Neighbors told local outlets that they felt their homes shake when the explosion happened. A reserve firefighter who lived across the street told local news that when he looked out his window that morning, "everything went white."

man survives NYC sidewalk explosion
Surveillance video captured the moment an NYC man survived an unexpected sidewalk explosion. NBC New York/Video Screenshot