MANHATTAN - (AP) - An underground steam explosion tore through aManhattan street near Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday, sending edgy residents running for cover amid a plume of steam and flying rubble, and causing brief panic about another terror attack.

Officials said at least one person died because of the explosion. Several people were injured, at least four of them seriously.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said the explosion was not terrorism.

"There is no reason to believe whatsoever that this is anything other than a failure of our infrastructure," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference at the scene of the blast.

Sixteen people were taken to Bellevue Hospital, including the person who died, said spokesman Stephen Bohlen. He said two seriously injured patients were being treated in the hospital's trauma unit. The remainder suffered minor injuries, he said.

Two people who were seriously injured were being treated at New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center. They were in critical condition, said hospital spokeswoman Emily Berlanstein.

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