Steam pipe explosion in Flatiron District

Street Closures, Transit Disruptions Near Flatiron Steam Pipe Explosion

July 19, 2018 - 12:29 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A massive steam pipe explosion has closed roads and disrupted mass transit service in the busy Flatiron District as crews make repairs and undertake a massive cleanup effort.

Five people sustained minor injuries and 28 buildings were evacuated after the high-pressure steam main, installed in 1932, ruptured at 6:40 a.m. Thursday at Fifth Avenue at 21st Street. 

The blast left a giant crater in the ground and sent vapor spewing into the sky as debris rained down leaving a film of grey dust and brownish muck on people, buildings and vehicles. Anyone affected is being advised to bag their clothing and take a shower.

The area is being treated as an asbestos zone as officials away the results of an air quality test.

Fifth Avenue will remain shut down as repairs and cleanup efforts take place.

The following changes are in effect in the area:

Street Closures

Fifth Avenue from 34th to 19th streets is closed off to cars. Buses can go beyond 34th, but will be diverted off at 25th Street.

24th to 18th streets are closed between Sixth Avenue and Broadway.

The immediate area around the so-called "hot zone" -- Fifth Avenue between 19th and 22nd streets -- will remain closed for the next few days for the ongoing cleanup.

Check current traffic conditions

Subway Service

R and W trains have resumed normal service. Earlier trains were bypassing 23rd Street.

Visit the MTA website for the latest updates.

Bus Detours

BM1, BM2, BM3 and BM4 buses are detoured eastbound via 5th Avenue, left on 34th Street, right on Lexington Avenue, left on 23rd Street and then resume their regular route.

Northbound BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11 buses are detoured via 5th Avenue, left on 28th Street, right on Park Avenue, right on Madison Avenue and then resume their regular route.

On the M23-SBS line, 23rd Street between 6th Avenue and Park Avenue South bus stops will not be made.

Northbound X1, X10, X17, X27 and X28 buses are detoured as follows:

X1 Southbound: Via 5th Avenue, left on 26th Street, right on Park Avenue South, then resume their regular route.

X10, X17, X27 and X28 Northbound: Via 6th Avenue, continue to 34th Street, right on 34th Street to Madison Avenue, left on Madison Avenue and then resume their regular route.

Check Twitter for updates.