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07-18-07, 08:19 PM #1
Steampipe Explosion causes Evactuation in Midtown NYC
Steam Pipe Explosion Forces Evacuation On East Side
July 18, 2007
Smoke continues to bellow into the sky on Manhattan's East Side following a steam pipe explosion shortly before 6 p.m. tonight, but police officials say the explosion not terrorist related.
The explosion, at 370 Lexington Avenue, has disrupted train service and caused the evacuation of the area.
News sources say at least 17 people have been injured and there may be one fatality. They are being treated at local hospitals.
Officials say a large steam pipe exploded underground, which then reportedly led to the explosion of a nearby transformer.
“I heard a big roaring noise and I felt the ground literally shaking,” said one witness.
“The police and fire trucks were coming from every which way,” said another. “Cops in the street were screaming ‘Evacuate! Evacuate! Get off the block.’"
Sources say the area between 41th Street and 47th Street and between Third and Lexington Avenues has been closed off. New York City Office of Emergency Management is asking everyone to stay away from the area.
Con Edison has shut off the feeder to the steam line.
The four-alarm fire is causing the suspension of service in both directions on the Number 4 train between 86th Street and Bowling Green. Service on the Number 6 train is suspended between 59th Street and Bowling Green. The Number 5 train is running on the Number 2 train track from Nevins to 149th Street. Shuttle service between Grand Central Station and Time Square has been suspended.
The Number 7 train is bypassing Grand Central Station. Commuters should also expect delays on Midtown buses.
Emergency crews were on the scene as steam and mud shot more than 20 stories from a gaping hole in the ground.
“I saw a bus fly through the air and slam into the ground,” said a third witness. “Debris and smoke kept billowing out of the ground.”
Local news sources are reporting that some people were lying in the street injured. Officials say that they are investigating possible asbestos in the air.
Con Ed Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burke says there are no electrical outages.
In 1989, a steam pipe explosion in Grammercy Park killed three people and injured 24 others.
07-18-07, 11:16 PM #2
I have been watching this today. Just awful!!! I am thinking of all our NYPD guys! Stay safe!**********************
"I used to care
but now I take a pill for that"
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