Pipe explosion in New York kills one, injures dozens
| 07.19.2007 | 07:13:24 | Views: 2799 | ID:
July 19 '07: One person was killed and about 30 were injured when an underground steam pipe in Midtown Manhattan exploded sending a jet of hot water several stories high and shaking the nearby city streets, the New York Times reported. Among those injured were several responders, the New York paper continued.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed the possibility of a terrorist attack by saying that the explosion had been "a failure of our infrastructure." In addition to injuries caused by the initial explosion - which left a crater about 35 feet wide, officials said that asbestos could have been released into the air - the pipes had been laid in the 1920s.Response the explosion was large - about 250 firefighters and 300 police were on the scene. "The Fire Department treated the blast as if it were a five-alarm blaze and firefighters who approached the geyser had breathing tanks on their backs." "Within hours of the blast," the Times continued, "Con Ed and the city's Department of Environmental Protection began taking air samples to determine whether asbestos had been released. They were also chekcing the debris that littered the street." The Times reported, "There have been more than a dozen steam pipe explosions in the city in the last 20 years. One of the largest shook the neighborhood around Gramery Park in 1989 and did millions of dollars of damage. Three people were killed, two of them Con Edison employees who had been working in the street before the explosion."
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