New York explosion: Towering plume of smoke shoots up from the city – buildings evacuated

AROUND five high-pressure steam pipes exploded on Fifth Avenue at 21st Street in the Flatiron District on Thursday, prompting the evacuation of several buildings in the area.

The explosions took place at around 6.40am EST.

The Flatiron commercial neighborhood is home to the city’s tallest apartment buildings and office high-rises.

Staff from the Office of Emergency Management and the New York Fire Department’s hazmat team were rushed to the scene.

No injuries have been immediately reported, but surrounding streets have been cordoned off.

Police are stopping pople from entering the area.

A steam pipe exploded in the Flatiron District, shutting down the bustling as Thursday’s morning rush hour commenced.

Authorites have alunched an investigation into the explosions.

Reports from those nearby claim smoke was still spewing rapidly from the ground an hour aftet the explosion took place.

Smoke turned from white, to grey and then black and continued to alternate colors.

The changing colour of the smoke plumes indicates the possibility of a fire underground

The blast comes almost exactly 11 years to the day of a steam pipe explosion near Grand Central on July 18, 2007.

Reports at the time stated tgjat the explosion sent debris shooting 40 stories in the air with mud raining from the sky.

That explosion was caused by ab 83-year-old underground pip near the city’s famous train station.

This a breaking news story. More to follow…