NEW YORK - An underground steam pipe explosion tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday, swallowing a tow truck and killing one person as hundreds of others ran for cover amid a towering geyser of steam and flying rubble.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the explosion was not terrorism, though the blast caused a brief panic about a possible attack.
"There is no reason to believe whatsoever that this is anything other than a failure of our infrastructure," he said of the a 24-inch steam pipe that had been installed in 1924.
Eighteen people were taken to local hospitals, officials said. One person was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital from an apparent heart attack, Bloomberg said. Two were in critical condition and another two were seriously injured. The others suffered minor injuries....