Watch scalding, blinding steam rip through a Detroit street

All photos by Steve Neavling.

High-pressure steam ripped through a street next to Cass Tech High School in Detroit on Friday afternoon, sending blinding and scalding vapor into the air.

Steam spewed out of dozens of holes and cracks on Second and Masonic after an underground steam pipe ruptured in the Cass Corridor. Steam can cause large sinkholes that swallow streets.

Detroit Thermal, which is responsible for the steam infrastructure, said in a statement that crews “are working diligently to ensure safety in the area and repair the problem.”

A crew arrived around 3:45 p.m. and “immediately shut off service to the line due to steam leaks at street level,” the company said.
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“The only building to have service interrupted by the leak is the unoccupied Wayne County building at 640 Temple,” Detroit Thermal said. “Cass Tech High School will not be affected by the leak, nor should any other customers.”
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We’ll check on the steam later Friday and provide updates.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.