Explosion starts fire in New York - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Explosion starts fire in New York

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NEW YORK, New York - Tense moments in Manhattan this afternoon after a blast shook buildings. One witness says "everybody obviously thought of 9-11." But police say a steam explosion that tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal was not terrorism.

A fire department spokeswoman says some people were taken to area hospitals, but no details are available. Subway service has been suspended because of the explosion.

The geyser of steam shot into the air from a gaping hole in the street during evening rush hour and went as high as the nearby Chrysler Building.

Thousands of commuters evacuated Grand Central, some at a run, after workers yelled for people to get out of the building.

Millions of pounds of steam are pumped beneath New York City streets every hour, heating and cooling thousands of buildings.

The steam pipes are sometimes prone to rupture, however. In 1989, a gigantic steam explosion ripped through a street, killing three people.

 

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