2006_06_mikvah.jpgA home in Midwood exploded, killing one man and seriously injuring two others who had been installing a mikvah in the basment. Firefighters believe that the vapors from the chemicals they were using somehow igniting, blasting one wall and shattering the the home's windows as well as windows in neighboring residences. A neighbor told NY1 that he tried to help one of the workers, who was still on fire, “I tilt him over a little bit and hold him off the ground and get the fire off his body, but the boots were still burning. I can't get the boots off, and so I took a fire hose, which I have in the backyard, so I took the fire off his boots and took the boots off.” The Department of Buildings issued summons to the contractor, JM Periera, for not having properly ventilated space, and said that home owner Tzipora Friedman did not have a permit for the work being done. The city also issued a stop work order.

Construction worker Antonio Tapia of Burlington, NJ, was killed, and the other workers are at area hospitals in serious condition. The mikvah is a "ritualistic bath" used in Orthodox Jewish homes for purification; recently, women haved used them after their menstral cycles and giving birth (jump to the bottom of this Daily News article for some more explanations).