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7/18/07: Never Forget

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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REMAIN ALARMED Wednesday's NYC steam pipe rupture

(Photo: Getty Images)

Yesterday, by mere minutes, missed being doused by the NYC-sponsored steam bath that was the Great Rupture of '07. On the way to Grand Central for the daily commute, we encountered a wave of crying, dirt-covered people sprinting the other way. We rounded the corner to see what appeared to be a portal to hell billowing black smoke 40 stories skyward, a bomb that kept exploding for 20 to 30 minutes. In the immortal words of every person who's ever talked to a local news camera about witnessing a tornado: It sounded like a freight train.

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(Reports of one freaked out editor phoning HQ to say "If anyone was in Grand Central, they must be dead," cannot be confirmed at this time.)

Later that night, the New York Times posed the same question we've since asked ourselves: Other than the obvious 9/11 effect, why did people assume—and even claim to bear witness to evidence—that this was the next big terror attack? The answer: For almost two weeks now, whether it was Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff's "gut feeling" about a summer attack, or the mysterious apocalyptic NYC scenes in J.J. Abrams new movie trailer shown before Transformers, the idea of an impending dirty bomb or subway explosion has been drilled into our heads.

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