Last night started off as a normal commute home as I walked out of work and started to head to the subway. All of a sudden I saw everyone turning around and rushing back towards me and then I heard a lady yell “There’s been an explosion!”
I immediately started to run back as did everyone else. I can’t begin to explain the true horror involved when you see hundreds of people running away like that. We’ve all seen footage from 9/11 on the television, but to actually be there in the middle of it was one of the scariest things I’ve experienced in my lifetime.
I know it seemed foolish at the time, but I stopped a block away because I wanted to know what I was running away from. As I turned around, I saw smoke rising towards the Chrysler building. I later found out it was steam but at that moment none of us out on the streets knew anything. There was a loud rumble that never stopped and it sounded like a building coming down. My initial thought, which I’m sure was shared by everyone else was this may have been a terrorist attack.
Everyone was on their cell phones and I immediately got on mine and tried to call Amy but I couldn’t get through. I got on my slingbox on my Treo to try to access the news channels, but at that point no one had been covering it yet. Luckily after about 10 minutes we got word that there had been a steam pipe explosion.
The responders came in full force, seemingly from every direction and I have to say how organized and in their urgency, how calm they seemed to be.
After talking to Amy to let her know I was OK, I decided to walk up to 59th and Lex, since surely subways going in and out of Grand Central had stopped running.
It was all very eerie, walking down the middle of streets that you know on any other day would have been packed with traffic. I passed abandoned buses and storefronts. I think the jolt of adrenaline I got earlier was beginning to wear off, as I felt extremely sluggish now.
I made it to the subway stop and made it home safe and sound.