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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 06:22 GMT 07:22 UK
In pictures: New York steam blast

Fireman walks past ruptured steam pipe

One person was killed and at least 20 others injured after a steam pipe exploded underneath a street in central New York.

New Yorkers look at the steam rising near the Chrysler Building

The explosion in midtown Manhattan sent clouds of steam, mud and rocks into the air and forced the evacuation of nearby streets and Grand Central Station.

Crater on Lexington Avenue

The blast left a huge crater in the ground the size of a bus, emergency services on the scene said.

Workers caught up in the blast call friends and relatives

Witnesses said they were reminded of 11 September 2001, when planes hit the World Trade Center.

A city bus caught up in the accident

But the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no reason to believe the accident was caused by anything other than a failure of the infrastructure.

Police officer wears a mask at the scene of the explosion

Mr Bloomberg said city officials were concerned that asbestos particles may have been released into the air.

Explosion rocks central New York
19 Jul 07 |  Americas

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