UPDATE: Officials say the explosion was actually an 83-year-old steam pipe rupture. One person near the massive, jet engine-sounding geyser that spewed dirt and scalding vapor skyward from a crater in the middle of Lexington Avenue and 41st Street has died of cardiac arrest. About 20 others have been hospitalized. Police say no foul play is suspected, but terrorism was clearly on the minds of those within about a three block radius of Grand Central Station as they sprinted away just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Said one hysterical woman, "I was in a car behind a bus, a city bus, that just exploded! It just blew up right in front of us!" By contrast, a man walking out of the scene who said he was arriving on the 4 train at Grand Central when the explosion happened said MTA officials told him and others to quickly exit the station but added, "I didn't hear a thing until I exited through Grand Central Station."
Photo: Aaron Gell