New York man recovering in hospital after miraculously surviving mystery explosion

The horrifying moment a man was engulfed in flames in New York City has been caught on camera - as well as his jaw-dropping escape.

Barry West, 57, was walking down a street in Queens last week on his way to pay a cell phone bill, when an underground explosion tore through the footpath.

West was knocked to the ground and briefly engulfed in flames before managing to scramble to his feets and walk away from the fiery explosion.

He suffered second-degree burns and is now recovering in hospital, NBC reports. 

West told NY Daily News he feels "lousy" after the incident.

"I don't remember too much. It was - boom! - out of nowhere. I wasn't able to move and it hurt like hell."

He says he has lost skin from "all over" his body.

Local energy company Con Edison told NBC they were investigating the mystery explosion.

"We express our sincere concern for the victim and our regret for this incident. We wish him a full and fast recovery."