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Tennis players got a shock this morning as the bubble over Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club ripped, with a sound described by neighbors as an “explosion” and “mini earthquake”.

Images of the bubble just after the explosion and minutes later after the collapse. Photos: @rubytheschnoodle

Staff at Manhattan Plaza Racquet Club have confirmed that those inside the bubble on the 5 indoor tennis courts were able to exit safely. There appears to have been a problem with the pressure in the structure that caused the rips which could be seen from surrounding Hell’s Kitchen buildings.

“There was a sound like an explosion,” said W42ST Instagram follower @rubytheschnoodle. “The bubble split open in several spots and tennis balls and blue tarp came flying out. You could see the light fixtures swaying as the bubble deflated. It all happened in roughly 4 minutes.” The video above shows the deflating structure.

The view of the collapsed bubble at Manhattan Plaza from above. Photo: Aleta Lafargue

“I heard an explosion and felt like there was a mini earthquake. We looked at each other like, ‘what the heck was that?’ But being lifelong residents of Hell’s Kitchen we just went back to what we were doing — until I happened to look out my window and saw the deflated bubble!” said Aleta Lafargue, President of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants’ Association.

Engineers are now on the scene of the incident at the courts between 9th and 10th Avenues and W42nd and W43rd Streets. Management say it will take a few days before they know when they will be up and running for tennis again. Please contact the racquet club at (212) 594-0554 if you have a court booking in the next few days.

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