Blast shows NYC's aging infrastructure

DAVID CRARY AP National Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- Even while the exact cause remains unknown, a deadly blast that leveled two buildings served by a 127-year-old gas main has provided a jarring reminder of just how old much of the infrastructure is in New York and other cities.

A report issued a day before Wednesday's explosion estimates that $47 billion is needed for repairs and replacement over the next five years in New York.

The topic was in the spotlight Thursday as investigators sought to determine how and why a suspected natural gas leak triggered the explosion that killed at least 7 people.

Whether an 1887 cast iron gas main was a factor remained unknown. But it was upsetting for New Yorkers to be reminded that the area's natural gas supplier makes extensive use of 19th century piping.

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