In 1916, Marshall Mabey was working on a subway tunnel under New York’s East River. Compressed air was pumped into the tunnel to keep the soft earth between the river and the tunnel from caving in. A crack formed in the tunnel ceiling and Mabey was blown through the crack, through the river, and 25 feet into the air. He fell back into the river and was rescued. He survived unscathed and said he planned to go right back to work. The original New York Times account of the blow out is available here.
Marshall Mabey’s story is amazing. But I also found his wife’s reaction remarkable even though I imagine it was unremarkable at the time.
Of course I know that Marshall is in danger every time he goes to work but all work is dangerous and my husband is as careful as he can be. His job is a good one and I am glad he has it.
5 thoughts on “Blasted through a riverbed”
The same story is on the current episode of Radiolab.
Yes, that’s where I found it. Interesting episode.
“Hi Honey, I’m home. And you’ll never guess what happened to me at work today!”
Yes. Heard this. Remarkable. There’s also a story, highlighted in Damasio’s DESCARTES ERROR: EMOTION, REASON, AND THE HUMAN BRAIN (http://www.amazon.com/Descartes-Error-Emotion-Reason-Human/dp/0380726475), regarding Phineas Gage, who had a 3.5 foot rod penetrate his head, surviving, but with interesting psychological changes.
Anyone have a link for that Radiolab. Marshall Mabey was a relative of mine. He is also the Uncle of the Canadian stage actress Judith Mabey.