Steam pipe explosion

Adam Bloom

9 Buildings Reopened After Steam Pipe Explosion In Flatiron District

July 23, 2018 - 9:48 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Nine buildings were decontaminated and reopened Monday, following a steam pipe explosion in Manhattan’s Flatiron District last week.

While a maze of emergency vehicles and closures remained along Fifth Avenue between 19th and 23rd Streets, some roads were slowly opened and dozens of residents were able to return home.

Cleanup crews worked with the FDNY through the weekend to power-wash asbestos-laced debris off of buildings and successfully managed to shrink the size of the “hot zone.”

Inspectors from the city’s Department of Health and Department of Environmental Protection will continue to examine impacted buildings in the area. They plan to test building facades, roofs and common areas to ensure there is no presence of asbestos.

Though, residents still fear the risk of contamination and have been turning over their personal belongings to city officials who can properly inspect them.

“If they are contaminated, I do not want them back,” one resident said as he carried a bag of clothing. “I imagine Con Edison will be giving some kind of compensation.”

A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday that “on compensation from ConEd for displaced steam pipe explosion residents, the Mayor agrees that $500 will likely not be good enough. We’ll be pushing ConEd to up that payment.”

Con Edison tweeted that the $500 compensation “was to provide immediate help to those who were displaced” and added that residents could submit additional claims for other related expenses.  

Three dozen buildings remained closed due to asbestos contamination.