High CO Levels Cause Electrical Shut Downs, Evacuations on Jay Street

A backhoe begins to dig out a portion of Jay Street so that workers can get to the source of the gas leak. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Jun. 19, 2016

High carbon monoxide levels from a manhole fire in Tribeca on Sunday caused the seven-hour evacuation of several buildings on Jay Street between Staple and Greenwich streets.

There were no injuries, according to a Fire Department spokesman.

Power was shut to five buildings on Jay Street, according to Con Edison spokeswoman Elizabeth Matthews. Diners having Father’s Day brunch at Sarabeth’s, at the corner of Jay and Greenwich, which was not affected by the incident, seemed unfazed by the commotion nearby.

A Fire Department official on the scene said levels in the basement of 17 Jay Street measured 1,000 parts per million. According to federal data, CO exposure can be felt at levels of 75 parts per million and sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million can cause disorientation, unconsciousness, and death.

Early Sunday afternoon a backhoe arrived to dig up the street outside 13 Jay so that Con Ed workers could get to the source of the leak. Matthews said most of the cable repair work had been completed by 7 p.m. and the cause of the fire was under review.