Steam Explosion Leaves 1 Dead

New Yorkers fear terror attack; Bloomberg assures them otherwise
By Max Brallier,  Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2007 5:33 AM CDT
Debris filled steam gushes from what is to believed to be a steam pipe explosion, Wednesday, July 18 , 2007, in New York. An underground steam explosion tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.