Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not Your Usual Rush Hour!

It was a horrendous commute for a huge number of New Yorkers tonight. There was a huge steam pipe explosion on 41st Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Apparently it was installed in 1924, and was 24 inches in diameter.

You can view the story here: No one was killed in the accident, but one poor guy died of cardiac arrest.

My girlfriend's law office is right at the intersection of 41st and Lex. She saw a huge plume of steam, then mud rising up, and she's on the 19th floor! She, and everyone else, was evacuated from every building for several surrounding blocks. Many were covered with the debris that was shot heavenward, then fell back to earth.

Only one entrance to Grand Central Terminal was open, and the Metro North rail road was running close to schedule. Subway service was a mess: much of the Lexington Avenue line was suspended from 86th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. Engineers are now assessing the soundness of all surrounding structures, and the Department of Environmental Protection is testing for asbestos contamination. Residents were told they could not return home until later tonight. We'll see about that. If asbestos is present, a haz-mat team will have to be brought in.

This whole event scared the bejezus out of all of us! New Yorkers are always hypersensitive to this kind of disturbance. I am very grateful that everyone I know that was near the disaster site is safe. One good thing came of it. We decided that The Subway Inn at the corner of 60th and Lex would serve as a meeting place in the event of a disaster. We can have a pint, then walk across the 59th Street Bridge if we need to.



JYankee said...

At least it wasn't THAT kind of explosion..but good to know ur ok.

Little Blue PD said...

New York! What a town!

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, 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!



SOUL: said...

hey ...
thanks for putting this up. it's so much better to hear it from people "first hand".. before the media gets a hold of it.
but holy crap, i'm glad that everyone is ok. i'm surprised only one person had a heart attack... i'm sure that MANY out there still suffer PTSD and heart probs can always be a risk in a situation that started that with them.
wild stuff. crazy pictures.
i'm sure i will see more about it this morning on the news.
glad you made a meeting place in case of a real emergency though. that was good thinking. hopefully more will catch on to that idea.
i'm still a little shocked i think. just the "what if" ya know.
i'm just glad you and everyone are safe. the roads , pipes etc, can be fixed. we sure don't need another 9/11.
take care.

The World According to Me said...

I'm very sorry to hear about the explosion. I received a shock just reading about it.

Must have been very scarey seeing it first hand, and must have brought on all sorts of worries and memories.

The poor guy, and his family, who died.
I guess you have to be thankful that there wasn't more fatalities.

The meeting place sounds like a good idea though.

rp said...

Ironically enough, the person who died was a woman who worked for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Their offices are right at 42nd and Lex, or so. The media did not know or specify gender when initially reporting the fatality, so being the good grammarian I am, I assumed the masculine.

The guy I feel for most is the guy who was driving the tow truck in the crater. He has burns over 80% of his body!!

There is a frozen zone today, so many business directly surrounding the scene are closed. Good thing. Let those poor people gather their wits. Call it a week, and come back much better on Monday!

SOUL: said...

wow. no kiddin eh? not much of a fun long weekend tho. but needed time off i'm sure.

i hadn't heard of the driver... i hope he is ok. or will be.

take care

Epimenides said...

It must have been very frightenning to New Yorkers!
Poor guy! Talk of being dealt a bad hand! :(

ps. May I comment on how good your new blog layout looks. :)

rp said...

Thanks, Epi!! I like it, too. Much more room to play :)