28 buildings evacuated in NYC steam pipe explosion

JUSTIN LANE  EPA  Shutterstock
Firefighters worked at the scene of a high pressure steam explosion on Fifth Avenue in New York

A New York City neighborhood was rocked Thursday morning when a steam pipe exploded and created a huge crater in a street. Several buildings in the immediate area have been evacuated as a precaution.

There have been no fatalities of injuries reported so far, but the NY authorities have evacuated the people from the nearby buildings as a precaution.

Officials said the blast, which is under investigation, caused no injuries or evacuations, but that they were carefully monitoring the situation as steam continued to spew from the street for at least two hours after the explosion.

The high-pressure steam leak was reported about 6.40 am local time. "Crews are closing valves in the area which will result in the loss of steam service to some buildings". PHOTOS from the moments after the blastPeople were being advised to stay clear of the area for safety reasons.

Steam rose near the site of a steam pipe explosion on Fifth Avenue near the Flatiron District
Drew Angerer Getty Images Steam rose near the site of a steam pipe explosion on Fifth Avenue near the Flatiron District

"We've been working to isolate the steam rupture", Con Edison said on Twitter. "I was standing behind the police line when a Con Ed worker came rushing over and screaming at police and firefighters to push everyone north because he was anxious that there could be secondary manhole explosions".

PIX11's Craig Treadway, who is on scene, described the "very loud" noise coming from the explosion sight to be that of a "jet engine".

More than 100 miles of steam pipe run beneath Manhattan, delivering vapor that powers heating and cooling systems in thousands of buildings, among other functions. City busses were also being detoured.

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