Heroic barista saves two people after manhole explodes under Manhattan taxi



A heroic barista rescued two people in midtown Manhattan Monday morning after a manhole explosion just outside his Starbucks.

Bernard Vickers, 23, bolted out of the coffee shop after a manhole exploded under a taxicab parked just outside, according to DNAinfo. His actions saved the lives of both the driver and passenger.

"As the cab was going over the transformer, the transformer exploded," Vickers told the site. "It was pretty loud, just a giant boom."

The impact, which occurred at 44th Street and Lexington Avenue, just outside Grand Central Terminal, shattered the taxi's windshield and trapped both people inside, images from WCBS showed.

Debris raining down on Lexington Avenue heavily damaged the cab.

"They couldn't get the doors open," said Vickers. "I pulled the driver out the driver-side window and helped the passenger get out of the sunroof."

"They were both panicking."

Both driver and passenger escaped serious injuries despite the cab being totaled, authorities said. The cab was brand new, part of the "Taxi of Tomorrow" fleet, according to WCBS.

Neither has been identified, and both have since been released from Bellevue Hospital.

Vickers' actions were heroic, but he said they were instinctual.

"I just reacted like anyone else would've," he said. "It was some way to start off the week."

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