Steam pipe blast creates huge crater in the middle of New York City

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A New York City neighborhood was rocked Thursday morning when a steam pipe exploded and created a huge crater in a street.

The blast occurred about 6:40 a.m. in Manhattan's Flatiron District, just blocks from the iconic Flatiron Building, according to the New York City Fire Department.

"It was a loud boom and the building just shook," Byron Chavers, who works in the area, told ABC station WABC-TV.

Chavers said firefighters evacuated his building and others nearby.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The explosion left a crater in the middle of the busy intersection of Fifth Avenue and 19th Street during the morning commute and prompted police to close off streets in the neighborhood.

The blast sent steam swirling into the air and rattled windows and nerves.

The cause of the subterranean explosion is under investigation.

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