NEW YORK (Reuters) - An 83-year-old steam pipe exploded underground in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, shaking buildings, creating a towering geyser of debris and sending people fleeing in scenes reminiscent of the September 11 attacks.
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Officials in New York and Washington promptly ruled out terrorism. One person died of cardiac arrest and about 20 others were injured, some seriously, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.
Boiling, brownish water and steam gushed geyser-like at least 120 feet high out of a crater about 20 feet wide on Lexington Avenue at 41st Street, one of the busiest areas of New York City near the Grand Central transportation hub.