Several buildings evacuated after explosion in Flatiron District

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.

The Fire Department of NY says a high-pressure steam leak has caused street closings in Manhattan's Flatiron District.

The explosion in Manhattan was "pretty violent", an eye witness told New York Daily News.

Eleven buildings have been evacuated, FDNY said.

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

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. Environmental testing is being conducted to determine whether asbestos or other contaminants are present, but as a precaution, anyone in the vicinity of the rupture who was covered in the material is advised to bag their clothing and shower.

The explosions, which happened around 6:40 a.m., sent a massive plume of scalding steam skyward.

Con Edison is asking people to avoid the area and warning that there may be no steam service in some area buildings. Con Edison says crews have been working to isolate the steam rupture.

- A steam pipe appears to have exploded in Manhattan's Flatiron District. Some subway trains were bypassing the area. City busses were also being detoured.

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