A Brooklyn food delivery driver narrowly escaped serious injury on Saturday when his e-bike suddenly burst into flames as it rolled down a sidewalk, eyewitnesses said.
Abdel Musleh captured the action outside his Sunset Park home on video with a ring camera and posted on Reddit.
It showed one of his neighbours, who delivers food for a living, setting off on his e-bike to work illegally along the sidewalk a few doors down – but abruptly stopping seconds later outside his house. Musleh after the bike caught fire.
The man appeared in shock, barely escaping before mini fireballs carrying tiny pieces of the bike went off in a series of bursts that made loud popping noises.
Several cars traveling on 44th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue nearly missed flaming shrapnel as they passed.
The incident comes amid a growing debate over the safety of e-bikes. Their batteries, which burn hot and fast, have been linked to at least five deaths in the city this year, including 5-year-old Erica Williams, who died last month when her father’s bike caught fire as they slept at Inside NYCHA’s Jackie Robinson. Houses in Harlem.
“These e-bikes are dangerous, especially the cheaper ones,” Musleh said. “These [food-delivery] the guys have helped keep the city running during the pandemic, but we need stricter guidelines on what types of bikes should be on the streets to make sure things like this don’t happen.
Musleh said his neighbor appeared injured and limped away after escaping the fire, but returned with two gallons of water minutes later to put it out. The bike, however, was still smoldering until firefighters arrived shortly after and doused it with water, he said.