Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh. Crap.

First, there's the general annoyance whenever this city gets heavy rain. Not only do the roads flood (sadly unavoidable) but the flooding causes subway delays. It's like five dozen sick passenger delays all rolled into one. I seem to remember one morning when the rain pelted the city for all of about 10 minutes and the subways were down, delayed, or otherwise fucked up for the rest of the fucking morning. Is there any way water pumps could be upgraded so passengers can be spared future headaches? I'm tempted to get more involved with the Straphangers campaign.

Well, the day went from bad to worse when a steam pipe exploded on the East Side this afternoon.

Emergency workers are testing the air for asbestos following a deadly steam pipe explosion that occurred just before 6 p.m. tonight near the corner of Lexington and 41st Street on Manhattan's East Side.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that at least one person was killed and nearly 20 more were injured in the massive blast, which disrupted subway service and forced the evacuation of several buildings in the area.

The explosion tore a crater in the street nearly the width of Lexington Avenue, and created a geyser of debris that rained down on passers-by as they fled the area.

“The police and fire trucks were coming from every which way,” said a witness. “Cops in the street were screaming ‘Evacuate! Evacuate! Get off the block!’"

“I heard a big roaring noise and I felt the ground literally shaking,” said another.

Scenes of smoke billowing from city streets rekindled fears of 9/11 among city residents, but authorities say that the explosion was not terror-related.

The mayor said the 24-inch steam pipe, which was installed in 1924, likely exploded when a burst of cold water got into the pipe.

Yikes. Cold water. That's it? That's all it takes to blow up 41st and Lex? Okay, this makes me nervous for some reason. Details should be forthcoming soon.