February 21, 2003
Explosion on Staten Island

There's been a big explosion at an oil storage facility on Staten Island, my hometown. One person is confirmed dead so far, one is missing, and one is in critical condition.

This facility is about as far away as you can get from where I grew up and still be on Staten Island. I'm pretty sure there's no housing around there, but it is close to a major highway and the Outerbridge Crossing, which means it's also close to Woodbridge, New Jersey. Indeed, the blast was strongly felt across the Arthur Kill in Woodbridge.

So far, no indications that it was an act of terrorism. Let's hope it was just a terrible accident.

UPDATE: It's been officially ruled an accident. And in the map of Staten Island that they show in this article, my old neighborhood would be a bit north/northeast of the N in Staten.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 21, 2003 to National news | TrackBack

It certainly made an impressive plume, visible almost immediately from Brooklyn.

Posted by: Patrick Nielsen Hayden on February 21, 2003 1:58 PM

Interesting fact about Woodbridge: According to WNYC Radio the town has a "reverse" 911 system through which residents were called (apparently with a recorded message) and advised as to the situation, whether there was a need to evacuate (they were advised there wasn't), etc.

Posted by: Randy Paul on February 21, 2003 3:39 PM