A steam pipe exploded in the Midtown East area early Wednesday morning, scaring residents who needed to take shelter in their apartments. This incident also led to the closure of many streets.
The steam line problem began as a leak at East 52nd Street and Second Avenue around 2 a.m., according to the Division of Emergency Management. Emergency officials said the situation continued to deteriorate before it was contained around 6:45 a.m.
Some streets in the area were closed, including 1st Street to Lexington Street from 51st Street to 54th Street and 51st Street to 54th Street from 1st Street to Lexington Street. Police also did not allow people to enter the area, several New Yorkers trying to get to work told NBC New York.
While emergency crews were assessing the area, the FDNY said residents were asked to take shelter in their apartments. Con Edison advised residents to close their windows and the public to stay away from the area around East 52nd Street and Second Avenue.
First responders are providing escorts for residents to safely leave the area, according to the Department of Emergency Management.
“The big thing we're working on right now is they're doing some air quality testing. We'll have those results later this morning,” Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Escol said. Environmental testing for asbestos in the immediate area, Coun Ed said.
Escol said his crews are working to speed up the testing and cleanup process. N-95 masks are available for residents concerned about air quality.
No one was injured in the accident. Eight Con Edison Steam customers were affected by the rupture, officials said.
Editor's Note: The FDNY initially said residents were evacuated from the area rather than sheltering in place.
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