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Steam-Pipe Blast in Flatiron Echoes Powerful 2007 Explosion

Steam-Pipe Blast in Flatiron Echoes Powerful 2007 Explosion”

- A steam pipe appears to have exploded in Manhattan's Flatiron District.

At least 49 buildings were evacuated.

A almost century-old steam pipe has exploded beneath New York's famous Fifth Avenue, hurling chunks of asphalt, sending a geyser of white vapour 10 storeys into the air, and forcing the evacuation of 28 buildings. The explosions sent massive plumes of scalding steam up towards the morning sky. Serious damage. Thank god no injuries being reported.

De Blasio said it could take days to check and clean the buildings, which include 28 in a "hot zone" closest to the site where the blast left a crater roughly 20 feet by 15 feet in the street. Debris, including chunks of asphalt, littered the nearby streets and cars that were parked by the explosion were covered in mud.

The explosion took place early in the Thursday morning rush hour at 141 Fifth Ave. near 21st Street.

As for the subways, R and W trains are bypassing 23rd Street in both directions, MTA officials said.

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This explosion has some eerie timing, as the blast happened nearly 11 years to the day of a similar steam pipe explosion near Grand Central.

Emergency officials warned citizens that if they were hit by any materials from the blast, that they should shower immediately and bag their clothes as they may be affected by asbestos.

"People will not be let back into their apartments until we have cleared their building", the mayor said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was directing the state's Department of Public Service to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the explosion and determine whether any utility activities contributed to it.

Even though the explosion seemed deadly, no one was hurt.

Crews are now working to decontaminate buildings and streets in Manhattan after a steam pipe exploded Thursday morning, which created a huge crater and filled the air with asbestos.



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