Blast Wrecks Cleaning Establishment
Two terrific explosions of high volatile cleaning fluid fumes shattered a cleaning store and a sandwich shop in the Gramercy Park Cinema Building on East Twenty-third Street, New York City.
The force of the explosion was so great that it threw a 500-pound pressing machine through the wall of the cleaning shop into the restaurant next door. The blast caused the balcony of the theatre to sag about four inches. Windows for nearly a block were broken and a large plank was hurled into the side of an auto parked thirty-five feet away.
Although three were dead and about twenty-four injured, the results would have been far worse had the explosion occurred about twenty minutes later. At that time the streets would have been crowded with lunch hour throngs from nearby office buildings.
Among the rescue units to respond was the newly organized “disaster unit” of Bellevue Hospital. This detail consisted of thirty internes and eleven nurses.