High-pressure steam leak prompts evacuations in New York City

Emergency responders examine the scene at a steam pipe explosion in Midtown Manhattan New York City U.S

About 500 people from almost 250 residential units were displaced by the evacuation order, according to the city's Emergency Management Department. Debris, including chunks of asphalt, littered the nearby streets and cars that were parked by the explosion were covered in mud.

The blast occurred about 6:40 a.m.in Manhattan's Flatiron District, just blocks from the iconic Flatiron Building, according to the New York City Fire Department.

The steam-pipe explosion that rocked the Flatiron District in Manhattan on Thursday was a roaring reminder of a fatal blast that happened 11 years ago in Midtown.

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. 138 firefighters and 33 NYFD units had arrived on the scene as of 8 AM ET, with police shutting down traffic on major thoroughfares.

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

An Emergency Responder examines Midtown Manhattan's steam pipe explosion in New York City U.S
High-pressure steam leak prompts evacuations in New York City

For more information on updates on the area affected by the steam pipe explosion, visit nyc.gov or call 311. In the meantime, the utility company said it was conducting environmental testing for asbestos and other contaminants.

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

Another deadly Manhattan steam pipe explosion, in August 1989 in the Gramercy Park neighborhood, killed one resident and two Con Ed workers.

They also have claim forms available for people to submit to receive compensation for their clothes.

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. The explosion is believed to have come from a pipe in the street but authorities are working to evacuate people in surrounding buildings.

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