Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Steam Pipe Explosion Unnerves Manhattan"

For 30 minutes we all thought the worst had happened.

Sticking our heads out our office windows, my colleagues and I looked north along Lexington Avenue and saw that Grand Central Station and many of the neighboring buildings had disappeared behind billowing plumes of smoke. The growing pitch of sirens and the steady stream of people below played to our worst fear that somewhere behind the white cloud lay something that every New Yorker had been silently dreading for the last six years. Had Grand Central just been bombed at the height of rush hour?

Three other coworker friends and I grabbed our stuff, shut down our computers, and quickly left the building. When we were outside we joined the throngs of people looking north towards the unfolding scene of disaster. People had said they had seen an explosion of rubble. Someone said a building had collapsed. A man next to us had left his office so quickly that he left his phone behind. Those of us who did have phones whipped them out to take pictures or call loved ones. I managed to call my parents and tell them I was okay before phone service crapped out from overload of callers. For those 30 minutes we all wondered if we were experiencing a replay of 9/11.

We walked along Second Avenue for a while before coming to a bar that had the news on. A crowd three deep of people gathered around the open windows for answers to our fears. Information had just started to come in that it was not a terrorist attack but a steam pipe explosion. Relieved yet still shaken, we found another bar where we steadied our nerves while drinking successions of bourbon and Johnny Walker Black.

False alarm. Heart rate returned to normal. I held up my glass of bourbon to my friends and toasted their company during the crisis. "To life," I said and we all drank deeply.

Photo from nycmoments's stream on Flickr.


Little Blue PD said...

Good account! New York! What a town!

So now we have Con Edison and terrorists to worry about.

It happened on the West side of 41st and Lexington Ave. I was like a block away in the office. At first I thought it was thunder, but it just kept going for like over 20 minutes it seemed, then I was out of the area, but they say it lasted for hours, and it was very very loud.

Very scary, the NYPD says it was not terrorism. They say it was a steam explosion. Smoke and steam went up over the 45th floor. There was no black smoke like a fire though. Out the window I saw people running from the area. It was pretty scary, I was positive while in the area that it was terrorism.

There are pictures of a big craterish hole in the middle of the street with a red tow truck sitting in the hole. Terrorists would have had to go under the street to plant some bomb there. That's not the way they would have done it. We all can think of much more effective and easier ways, and better places.

It happened right around the corner from one of the biggest creators of traffic congestion in NYC.

Will Mayor Bloomberg do anything about Park Ave. being blocked off at 42nd street?

I think Mayor Nanny Bloomie is a very arrogant man. I also highly doubt he rides the subway that much. He's the mayor, I want someone driving him around so he can work and make calls and stuff. New Yorkers shouldn't want him wasting all that time on the subway.

We all have to wonder what Bloomberg is really thinking of with this congestion pricing tax scheme. Maybe he mostly just wants a new tax. Just wrap it up in ‘concern for the environment’, and then people can just demonize those who oppose it.

If he cares so much about traffic jams, congestion and air pollution, why does he let Park Avenue be blocked off? Why doesn’t he do anything about that?

It's true, Pershing Square Restaurant blocks Park Avenue going South at 42nd St. for about 12 hours a day/5 months of the year! This Causes Massive Congestion and Air Pollution!

But apparently it does not bother NYC’s Nanny-in-Chief Mike “Congestion Pricing Tax” Bloomberg?

It certainly supports his claim that the city is hugely congested.

Check out the map! Tell your friends!

Check it out!


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