One person is dead and 30 are injured after a steam pipe ruptured in midtown Manhattan yesterday, shooting a volcano-like eruption of steam, mud and debris 30 stories high and prompting fears of a terrorist attack. The casualty was a middle-aged woman who had a heart attack when the steam shot from the ground next to her, the New York Daily News reports.
The driver of a tow truck swallowed by a crater was one of two people critically burned by the scalding steam. Mayor Bloomberg was quick to the rule out terror, describing the cause as "a failure of our infrastructure." There are fears that the explosion, outside Grand Central Station, may have filled the air with asbestos, as happened in a similar 1989 Gramercy Park incident.