A manhole exploded underneath an occupied New York City MTA bus, sending the nearly 300-pound iron plate cover up through the floor of the bus and hitting a passenger sitting on the bus Tuesday.
The woman, Josephina Guzman, was on the BX11 bus heading down West 170th Street in the Bronx on her way to a doctor's appointment when the bus stopped at a light, she told NBC 4 New York through a translator in an exclusive interview Thursday.
Suddenly the manhole cover underneath the bus exploded and pierced the floor of the bus, slamming into her leg.
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"She thought one of the tires exploded," said Guzman's friend, translating for her. "She wasn't expecting that."
A photo shows how the iron plate ripped through bus floor, splintering the wood.
Guzman, who recently had hip surgery and was on her way to a follow-up, received bruises to her leg and a swollen ankle. She got an X-ray hours after the freak accident, and she was told there was no fracture, but she said she's suffering pain in her foot. She is getting around with a walker.
It's not clear what caused the manhole explosion. A message has been left with the Department of Environmental Protection.
MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said in a statement, "We are thankful that no one was seriously injured."