Survivor Of New York Explosion Breaks Silence

Tuesday, November 6th 2007, 2:08 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) Margo Kane spoke for the first time since the July 18th steam-pipe explosion that left her foot hanging by a sliver of skin and muscle. In a bedside interview, Kane said she had ended up at the site of the explosion after she left work five minutes early to get her hair cut. Kane, a legal secretary at the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, got off a bus and began walking toward the salon.

Kane turned and heard a tremendous boom.

``All of a sudden I was flying,'' Kane said. ``I spun around and came crashing down.''

The towering geyser of steam and mud blew out a huge crater near Grand Central
Terminal and flung rock, asphalt, concrete and cobblestones into the air.

Margo Kane has survived almost anonymously. From the beginning Kane has been on the periphery of a disaster centered on two other severely injured victims.

Greg McCullough and Judith Bailey were in a tow truck swallowed up by the eruption of the aging Consolidated Edison pipe, which injured dozens, caused a woman to have a fatal heart attack and sent a jolt of fear through the city.

Margo Kane has been in the hospital longer than anybody else injured. Kane has endured depression, repeated surgeries and unrelenting pain, and may yet lose her foot.

Doctors reattached Kane’s right foot using muscle and skin grafts to wrap around the damaged section in a sort of cocoon. They inserted a steel rod in Kane’s leg and her small toe was partially amputated.

``You don't do too much,'' Kane, 70, told The Associated Press as she tearfully recounted her story publicly for the first time. ``You just try to survive.''

The ordeal has been agonizing, Kane said. She is fighting multiple infections and it could be weeks before doctors determine whether the leg should be ``lopped'' off as she puts it.

``They have not given up on it,'' Kane said.

Margo Kane's lawyer has filed a $10 million notice of claim with the city the first step in suing Con Ed. The utility is the target of at least 20 lawsuits stemming from the explosion.