NYC steam pipe explosion causes morning chaos

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 19, 2018

A subterranean steam pipe explosion on Thursday in NY created an urban geyser that snarled traffic during the city's morning rush hour, but caused no injuries, authorities said.

Another 21 are located in a "warm zone" that's farther from the site of the blast, which took place around 6:45 a.m. near Fifth Avenue and 21st Street. The explosions sent massive plumes of scalding steam up towards the morning sky. Subway trains were diverted around the blast area.

No injuries are reported at this time, which Johnson has called "a miracle", especially since cars and streets in the immediate area have sustained an enormous amount of damage. "It left a huge crater in the middle of the street". Fifth Avenue is closed from West 19th Street to West 25th Street (the hot zone).

Three of the injured were civilians and the buildings will "remain evacuated for a while", he said.

The steam pipes are part of a 136-year-old system, which local power company Consolidated Edison Inc said was the nation's largest steam system, stretching from the southern tip of Manhattan to 96th Street.

It happened after Con Edison crews using a jackhammer shattered a 24-inch steam pipe.

The company said it was carrying out environmental testing to determine whether any contaminants, such as asbestos, were present.

Officials say all first responders and people in the area of Thursday's explosion will need to be observed for any signs of illness from asbestos.

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