As Gothamist first noted a short time ago, the New York City Fire Department has uploaded some amazing photos showing a huge gas explosion on Delancey Street nearly 50 years ago.
It happened on Jan. 3, 1969. Luckily, there were no deaths and just a few injuries. But the gas explosion blew apart big chunks of the street, shut down several blocks (as well as the Williamsburg Bridge) and disrupted train service. The city evacuated 300 families in the immediate area as a fire raged for several hours.
It was later determined that the explosion started in an abandoned tunnel beneath the street that at one time had been used for utility pipes. The city had the tunnel filled in after the accident.