This morning, Matt opened the show with correspondent Ron Allen about two blocks away from the site of the steam pipe explosion that shook up the East Side of midtown Manhattan on Wednesday evening. WATCH VIDEO
Matt interviewed three witnesses WATCH VIDEO, and I was surprised to hear that two of them did not immediately think of terrorism when the explosion occurred -- because that's what I, and everyone around me, thought when we streamed outside to see what had happened.
I was in my apartment, about four blocks from the site, when I heard a loud rumbling like thunder -- but the thunder didn't stop. I went to my window and looked out onto Lexington Avenue, where people were running away from something, but I couldn't see what.
Then I saw police cars with sirens blaring driving up Lexington, and I stuck my head out my window to see if I could tell what was going on. All I could see was what looked like smoke (it turned out to be steam) wafting into the sky.
My first thought -- that either the MetLife Building, the Chrysler Building or Grand Central Station had been attacked.
This is the sad reality for just about all of us who were in New York on September 11 -- when something like this happens, many of us reflexively first think it's terrorism.
I ran downstairs and went out on the street, walking up to 39th Street to see for myself what was happening. I was glad to discover that none of the buildings in the area were on fire but shocked to see the size of the hole in the middle of Lexington Avenue.
Eventually, we learned that it was not a terrorist attack and heard the scale of the human toll -- one dead and more than 30 injured. Some of the mud and debris has tested positive for asbestos (though the air has not), and many people are not permitted to return to their apartments or offices today.
When they heard or saw the explosion, some people said they were thinking that it was "September 11 all over again." Fortunately, that wasn't the case. But this was just the latest reminder that here in New York, almost six years later, that day is still so fresh in our minds.