4 years ago on July 19th, 2018
A steam pipe explodes near the Flatiron Building, causing a large crater outside 141 Fifth Avenue
The explosion happened at 6:40am, which thankfully meant that few pedestrians were in the area and lessened the number of injuries. Only five people suffered minor scrapes and bruises as they fled or evacuated the 28 surrounding buildings.
Asbestos insulation was found present in debris and dust that settled onto building surfaces, but no asbestos was detected in the air. The cleanup process took more than a week, with ConEd and the FDNY coordinating to wash down exposed surfaces while collecting the runoff and filtering out any asbestos contamination.
A similar steam pipe had ruptured 11 years and one day earlier near Grand Central.