A look at other gas explosions in the NY area

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 12 at 5:36 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A gas leak is being blamed for an explosion that destroyed two buildings in East Harlem on Wednesday, killing at least two people and injuring more than 20. There have been a number of other explosions in the city in past years:

— July 12, 2013: An explosion and fire inside a Chinatown beauty salon apparently was caused by the deployment of two dozen bug bombs. The explosion blew out a wall and caused the partial collapse of the building. A dozen people were injured.

— Oct. 9, 2008: A manhole explosion in Brooklyn killed one utility worker and injured another.

— Oct. 6, 2007: An apparent gas explosion at a 20-unit Harlem apartment building injured more than 20 people, including a firefighter.

— July 18, 2007: An underground steam pipe explosion tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal, swallowing a tow truck and killing one person as hundreds of others ran for cover amid a 40-story geyser of steam, mud and flying rubble. At least 45 people were injured, and more than 100 businesses were affected.

— July 10, 2006: Dr. Nicholas Bartha, who died from severe wounds after his $6.4 million Manhattan town house blew up, was suspected of causing the explosion by tampering with a gas line, and his death was ruled a suicide. At least 14 other people were injured, including 10 firefighters.

— Aug. 31, 2000: A steam pipe near the entrance to New York University's main library burst, spewing debris and traces of asbestos onto dozens of people and several cars and buildings in the area. As a precaution, city officials set up a decontamination site for more than 55 people who had been exposed to the asbestos.

— Nov. 10, 1992: A huge steam explosion at the city's oldest power plant killed a utility employee and injured six other people. The blast shook the neighborhood around the Con Edison utility's 91-year-old Waterside Station in midtown Manhattan.

— Dec. 29, 1989: A gas explosion and fire at Con Edison's Hellgate Station in the Bronx shot balls of flames hundreds of feet into the sky, blacked out thousands of buildings and traffic lights and brought subway trains to a halt. Two people were killed and 30 were injured in the blast, which was caused by a utility worker's backhoe.

— Aug. 19, 1989: An explosion ripped open a Manhattan street in the exclusive Gramercy Park neighborhood, spewing a geyser of steam and asbestos 12 stories high for four hours. Three people were killed, and at least 26 were injured. More than 350 people were kept from their homes for weeks, and the cleanup cost at least $90 million. Executives of Con Edison later were charged with concealing the presence of the asbestos for four days until residents discovered it.

— July 15, 1989: A four-story apartment building apparently rocked by a gas explosion collapsed in northern Manhattan, killing one person and injuring seven others.

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