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Woman Injured When Saw Blade Goes Flying In Hell's Kitchen

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- In what witnesses described as a scene out of a horror movie, one person was injured Tuesday when a three-foot saw blade went flying in Hell's Kitchen.

As CBS 2's Jessica Schneider reported, the accident happened around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Ninth Avenue and 48th Street. Construction crews were using heavy machinery to cut asphalt when the three-foot-wide blade came loose.

The blade went flying 100 feet in the air, bounced off a tree, and finally hit a 43-year-old woman in the leg.

"All of a sudden, everyone started screaming, 'Move! Get down!'" said Matt Bisi of Midland Park, N.J.

In a surveillance clip of the incident, a quick flash appears as the blade flies next to the tree and comes crashing to the sidewalk.

Bisi is seen dropping to the ground. He was walking right behind the woman who was struck.

"I kind of turned and saw the blade just come flying down the sidewalk," Bisi said. "(The woman) was shaking; she was bleeding."

The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where her condition was reported as stable.

The city Department of Design and Construction said the crews using the saw were upgrading water mains and undertaking other roadway improvements.

Construction crews have been working for the past two years on the stretch of Ninth Avenue where the accident happened.

The department was investigating late Tuesday afternoon, and has directed the contractor to stop using saws until equipment is inspected and confirmed to be in proper working condition.

People who live in Hell's Kitchen said this scene won't be easy to forget.

"This construction has been here way too long," said Debbie Matthis. "It's just a waste of taxpayers' money and I think there's a lot of carelessness."

Bisi was still in disbelief Tuesday night that he so narrowly escaped being struck.

"This morning I was shaking for a good half hour afterwards, because it came pretty close to hitting me," he said.

The contractor's safety inspector came onto the scene immediately after the accident. The city said its own safety inspectors were investigating the incident Tuesday night.

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