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Underground explosion hits NYC street

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An underground pipe explosion tore through a Manhattan street near grand central station Wednesday. The explosion sent steam and rubble flying high into the air. Hundreds ran for cover, fearing a possible attack. A layer of mud and debris covers the area around the gaping crater left by the blast. Cars, traffic lights, and street lamps are covered with a thick layer of dust. DEP tests show there is asbestos in the settled dust and debris, but not floating in the air. That's positive news but some New Yorkers are still skeptical. One witness said, "Look what happened with 9-11. They said the air was fine. We don't know." The Office of Emergency Management has handed out more than 7,000 particle masks to those who work in the immediate area of the explosion. During Wednesday's rush hour, an old steam pipe blew through the pavement. Hundreds of people ran for cover. Many caught in the blast were injured by flying debris. One of those seriously injured -- a tow truck driver who was directly above the explosion -- he suffered severe burns over 80 percent of his body. One person died as a result of the blast: a 51-year-old New Jersey woman who had just started a new job. She had a heart attack. Streams of confused New Yorkers struggled to navigate around the cordoned-off area.. Some have decided to call it a day... One witness said, "All the blocks are closed going that way around it. The cops kept telling me go around. You can't get through Lexington or Third Avenue." About 30 people were reported injured, four seriously. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has assured the public that the explosion was not the work of terrorists.

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