(Click on story to see recent updates on this breaking story.) 6:01PM EST: FDNY is reporting some sort of explosion at East 48th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. They have numerous victims and are requesting a 2nd Alarm response at this time. NYPD has called a level 1 response as well. All trains halted in area.
6:08PM EST: FDNY has just ordered a 4th alarm response. This is at the Chrysler Building. Some sort of underground explosion. Debris is falling from all sides. Units using extreme caution in area. All civilians are being urged to stay away from Midtown Manhattan.
6:12PM EST: FDNY has just called a 10-60 (major emergency).
6:15PM EST: FDNY has not yet given a incident report, but initial reports are that a major underground steam explosion has occurred.
6:18PM EST: Grand Central Station has been evacuated.
6:20PM EST: This appears to have taken place in the street, and not inside any building.
6:21PM EST: Con Ed is on the scene attempting to shut down a large steam line.
6:22PM EST: EMS is transporting victims with burns at this time…..
6:23PM EST: EMS is setting up a staging area at the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
6:30PM EST: EMS has so far transported a total of nine victims in unknown condition.
6:33PM EST: Channel 7 is showing live footage of a huge hole in the street at 41st Street between 3rd Avenue & Lexington Avenue, with steam shooting out under TREMENDOUS PRESSURE.
6:34PM EST: The steam pipes are wrapped in asbestos, and FDNY is concerned of a wide-spread asbestos contamination.
6:39PM EST: Channel 7 is showing footage of a school bus completely covered in debris.
6:40PM EST: FDNY has transmitted a 5th alarm.
6:41PM EST: The debris is still shooting into the air – as high as 27 stories.
6:51PM EST: A transit official has confirmed to Yeshivaworld that the #6 & #4 lines have been shut from 86th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge.
6:54PM EST: Con Ed is advising that they are unable to shut the steam leak down at once – but rather real slow. If it is done quickly, the steam pressure will build up behind the leak area – and explode in another area.
7:23PM EST: FDNY is now reporting that they are declaring the incident “probably will hold”. Con Ed has also shut “the feed going to the ruptured pipe”, but steam continues to pour out of the crater in the street.
7:27PM EST: A large “decon” operation is underway due to the large asbestos concern.
7:41PM EST: FDNY is advising that they have 18 injured people, three of them are “red tagged” / seriously injured. They also have three firefighters injured. (Unknown if they are included in the 18 victims.)
7:43PM EST: The FDNY command post is being moved a block away due to concerns of possible additional explosions. All rescue personnel are being warned to move away (and their vehicles) from manholes.
7:48PM EST: FDNY has just transmitted a 6th Alarm.
8:15PM EST: One person has been pronounced dead at the hospital.
8:20PM EST: Mayor Bloomberg has started his press conference. Here are some details: The 24 inch pipe was installed in 1924. The “likely” cause is due to cold water entering the steam line.
9:09PM EST: FDNY Chief is now advising that the situation is under control.