Steam pipe explosion in Flatiron District

Steam Pipe Cleanup Nearly Complete In Flatiron District; Residents Want To Return Home

July 22, 2018 - 8:10 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Cleanup in the Flatiron District from steam pipe explosion was nearly completed Sunday, thanks to the FDNY.

Early Saturday, when there was a potential for extreme wind, Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Esposito said they called in firefighters for assistance.

The FDNY arrived at the scene of the explosion, where asbestos-laced debris has displaced hundreds of residents and business owners, and hosed down the impacted buildings.

“We were concerned about the wind blowing particles that are on the buildings, on the rooftops, and now it becomes airborne again,” Esposito explained.

A water collection system was also set up to catch any asbestos contamination but now that the facades of the buildings have been cleaned, Esposito says it’s just a precaution.

 “It’s not really a strategy to catch it, it’ll be really a safety net in case there is some accumulation,” Esposito said.

Air monitoring will continue throughout the week, but officials say samples have all come back negative.

About 500 displaced residents are now hoping to receive the news that they can return to their homes and businesses.

"It's very difficult, and it's very difficult for everyone else in my building as well," said one landlord. "We're just trying to get some sort of answers at this point." 

While the area surround the buildings have been cleaned, there's no word yet on the air quality inside the buildings or if it's safe for residents to go home.