Con Edison Collects Asbestos-Laced Garb After NYC Steam Blast

(Bloomberg) -- New Yorkers have grown accustomed to electrified manhole covers, sewer blowouts and other hazards in a city beset with aging infrastructure. Now they can add a new one to the list: toxic steam explosions.

An asbestos-lined steam pipe ruptured in Manhattan’s Flatiron district Thursday morning, spewing fibers into the air. No one was seriously injured. But Consolidated Edison Inc. -- the utility responsible for the pipe -- is asking anyone nearby to take a shower and turn in their clothing to be decontaminated.

“Anything that’s been exposed to asbestos is potentially hazardous,” Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee said in an interview. “You don’t want it hanging around.”

The utility dispatched workers to the neighborhood to accept bagged clothing. Victims will be compensated for their outfits, McGee said.

The blast is under investigation by the New York State Department of Public Service.

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