Yesterday, Con Edison removed the tow truck sitting in the crater where a steam pipe explosion ripped a 15' by 25' hole in 41st Street and Lexington Avenue. The utility will investigate the damage in hopes of getting a better idea of what caused the Wednesday night explosion. Other clean up crews were working on other parts of the damaged area. One contractor who will be washing the facade of a building told WNBC, "It's a mess. Blown windows and a lot of stuff like that."

Even though the city has been telling people not to visit the explosion site and has police stationed to tell onlookers as much, the curious are still making their way. A family from White Plains told Newsday, "We thought it's safe. There's no asbestos." And on a sobering note, businesses are certainly hurting: A newsstand operator near a closed off subway entrance said usual business was $700 a day, but since the blast, it's been too low: "Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and now Saturday. No business."

The Daily News has a look at how first responders dealt with responding to the explosion. FDNY Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano told the News, "It was midtown Manhattan and rush hour and I think everyone's first thought was, 'Here we go, this is it.' Of course we thought this time it was terrorism."

2007_07_reupho.jpgAnd, by now, most people have seen the Reuters photograph of a woman, covered in blood and debris, being guided by a man and a police officer after Wednesday's steam pipe explosion. It's one of the most indelible images of the event, and the woman in the center finally emerged. Eileen Shannon spoke to both the Postand NY Times in yesterday's editions. Shannon, a casting director, (referred to as "Eileen Barry" in the Post) asked how tow truck driver Gregory McCullough was doing, saying, "Look at me, I'm OK. But what about him? I wish him the best and my thoughts are with him and his family." (McCullough is still in a medically induced coma at Cornell Weill, with burns to over 80% of his body.)

Shannon, who lives in Tudor City, said she had gotten off a bus and suddenly the explosion hit. Rocks hit her and she looked for refuge at a Subway sandwich shop, but the explosion blew open the shop's doors. Then she went to a check-cashing store, where she met Kieran Beer, the man on the left in the photograph, who helped her walk down the street. She said, “I always help people. It feels good to help people. I would have done the same thing. I was happy that they came forward. I needed that help. I believe in angels.”

Top photograph of clean up crews working yesterday by Diane Bondareff/AP; lower photograph by Brendan McDermid/Reuters