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Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

Old 07-18-2007, 06:11 PM
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Default Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

I sure hope this was not a terrorist act but they are still investigating.

Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

NEW: One person dies, at least 16 injured

Blast leaves huge crater, witnesses say

Steam pipe burst, causing a transformer to explode

FBI: No indication there is anything "suspicious"

From Katy Byron
NEW YORK (CNN) -- One person died and at least 16 were injured when a steam pipe burst in midtown Manhattan Wednesday, causing a transformer to explode and sending thick plumes of steam and ash into the air near Grand Central Terminal, New York officials said.

Bellevue hospital received 14 people from the explosion site, but one died from sustained injuries, according to hospital administrator Larry Dugan.

New York Presbyterian hospital said it had received three people with injuries related to the explosion. Two of those patients were critically injured.

The New York Fire Department said it received a call reporting an explosion at 5:56 p.m. More than 170 firefighters were dispatched to the site at Lexington Avenue near 41st Street. Map

Hundreds of people fled as dozens of police, fire and utility workers arrived. Officials said the explosion was not related to terrorism.

Former CNN reporter Adaora Udoji, now with CourtTV, said the scene at the time of the blast was "pandemonium."

"It felt like an earthquake. We saw hundreds and hundreds of people running down Third Avenue," she said. "They were screaming, they were crying."

Udoji said the blast left a crater "many dozens of feet wide," comparing it to the craters she saw after bombings during a stint in Iraq. She also said a "hissing noise" can be heard for blocks. Watch steam spew from underground

The emergency response was "instantaneous," she said -- within about 20 minutes the entire area was locked down.

Video from the scene showed steam and mud spewing from underground and a small school bus with its windows and a door blown out.

Jim Margolin in the FBI's New York office said there is no indication there is anything "suspicious" about the explosion, though the FBI is still collecting information from city agencies and officials.

New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, speaking to CNN, said the explosion was "major."

"The ground was literally shaking under your feet," he said. I-Reporters capture the transformer explosion

Andrew Troisi of the New York Office of Emergency Management said people in the area who do not need to be there should leave.

"This is a rescue operation. We have not begun to really detail the possible contaminants in the area, but there's a very good chance that hazardous materials are in the air," he said. "Let's not take any chances."

Police said they were reopening Grand Central Terminal, but subway lines near the explosion have been rerouted to bypass the Grand Central terminal stop, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Power company ConEdison provides steam power to about 1,800 commercial and residential customers in Manhattan from the Battery to 96th Street, according to the utility's Web site. Steam sales account for less than 10 percent of ConEdison's sales.

ConEdison is checking the area for any asbestos.

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Old 07-18-2007, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

I think they said it wasn't. Hopefully this will get people to take the potential threat more seriously.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:03 AM
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Default RE: Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

Yea they said it wasnt an act of terror. People will take it seriously today, tommorow they will act like it never happened i dont get it.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:19 AM
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Default RE: Transformer explosion rattles Manhattan

It's because things like this don't happen all the time in the US. We are a type of people that aren't prepared for attacks like the other cities that are in constant war so we eventually let our guard down. I hope that it never comes to the fact that we do get use to explosions and suicide bombers as common everyday happening, I hope that the governemnt has enough sense to stop it before it gets that far. Kind of like the threat going on with Al Queda. They know it's there, now what are they doint to stop it?
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