By Dan Heching
Special to DNAinfo.com New York
CHELSEA — The day after a small but violent explosion at a defunct gas station shook the corner of West 14th Street and 10th Avenue, relatively little in the chic arts district had changed, for a Saturday afternoon.
New Yorkers still migrated toward the sunny High Line park in droves, blissfully unaware of the destruction that had occurred directly beneath the elevated walkway on Friday at 10:30 a.m. the day before.
The explosion left two workers seriously injured, and they were transported at Bellevue Hospital, but the FDNY had no updates on their status Sunday.
The intersection was deserted on Saturday afternoon, but from the platform above, parkgoers could witness the twisted metal and damaged tractors left from the previous day's explosion. If only they looked down beneath them.
“It was scary,” said Darren Fiorello, 32, who works on the High Line as a popsicle vendor.
“It sounded like a bomb. It was really really loud,” he said. His cart, just yards above the site of the explosion, gave him a direct view of the immediate aftermath and chaos.
“There was this blue gas flame coming up…dust rose as high as that building," he said, waving towards 450 West 15th St., which houses the photo house Milk Studios and Phillips de Pury & Company art auctioneers, and where emergency responders were called from.
Up to 20 workers were removing a 6,000-pound gas tank from the site, an FDNY spokesman said Friday, when the explosion occurred.
The High Line itself reopened just hours later on Friday afternoon, after Department of Buildings officials examined the parts of the elevated park closest to the blast and found no issues of concern.
Many parkgoers said they weren't perturbed by the incident.
Merchants and shoppers at the chic galleries and high-end boutiques surrounding the blast's center, like the Artists & Fleas market in the adjacent Chelsea Market, said they were largely unaffected by the event, even after a temporary evacuation of the establishments bordering the gas station and a section of the High Line above.
A leather goods merchant at Artists & Fleas was on her way in to the building when the explosion occurred.
“I didn’t think anything bad would happen," said the vendor, who didn't want her name used. "I heard ‘gas line’, put my cigarette out, and came in to work,” she quipped.
None of the gallery assistants, salespeople, vendors and workers in the area interviewed by a DNAinfo.com New York reporter appeared to feel unsafe on Saturday, in light of the explosion.
Even Fiorello, the popsicle vendor said, “I feel safe. It was just an accident.”