An explosion near Grand Central Station in New York City Wednesday afternoon triggered chaos in Manhattan's midtown during rush hour, but police said there was no evidence it was a terrorist attack.
Officials said a steam pipe had exploded near the station, broadcast reports said.
Heavy dark smoke was climbing over the rooftops of Manhattan, spewing steam into the air like hot spring geysers, and there were reports that one building had been made unstable, MSNBC reported and showed in live transmission from the site.
Two people were injured, MSNBC said, quoting officials at New York City Hall. Police had cordoned off the area around the explosion. Some buildings were evacuated.
Subway trains were being rerouted to avoid Grand Central, MSNBC said. Streets were closed down in the area around Grand Central and the Chrysler building, causing chaos amidst rush hour.
The explosion recalled the panic of September 11, 2001, when planes flew into the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000 people and sending tens of thousands of people in lower Manhattan fleeing.
MSNBC reporter Chris Hansen gave an eyewitness account of the events, saying he was walking into Grand Central terminal to catch an early train home when he encountered something like the "running of the bulls."
"People were screaming and yelling and saying, 'Get out, get out'," he said on a telephone connection to MSNBC. "We ran outside and started calling sources. There was chaos for a good 20 to 30 minutes."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Temmuz 2007, 13:59