28 buildings evacuated in NYC steam pipe explosion

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Five minor injuries have been reported after a large steam pipe explosion that shut down streets and forced evacuations in the Flatiron District Thursday morning.

A almost century-old steam pipe exploded beneath Fifth Avenue in Manhattan early Thursday, hurling chunks of asphalt, sending a geyser of white vapor 10 stories into the air and forcing the evacuation of 28 buildings.

The explosion was also affecting subway service because trains were bypassing the 23rd St. Stations. The explosions sent massive plumes of scalding steam up towards the morning sky.

According to CBS New York, the unexpected eruption happened at 6:40 a.m. on Fifth Ave. between 22nd and 21st Sts. The cars around were coated in mud.

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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. People are advised to stay clear of the area for safety reasons. Sadly, the same couldn't be said when a steam pipe in neighboring Gramercy Park burst in August 1989, as three people - including two Con Edison workers - were killed.

A steam pipe appears to have exploded in Manhattan.

According to Con Edison, the explosion affected one main line that connects to several feeders, which may affect air conditioners and hot water in the immediate area.

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

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