Two buildings have collapsed after a massive explosion took place in Harlem between 116th and 117th St. earlier this morning.
Another Exclusive photo showing windows blown out of building explosion in Harlem. pic.twitter.com/3gKFLv0uli
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) March 12, 2014
According to CNN’s Stephanie Gallman, Con Edison, which provides natural gas service in Manhattan, was called to the block to investigate a gas leak moments before the explosion. “For weeks we’ve been smelling gas,” neighbor Ashley Rivera told the Daily News.
A spokesman for the FDNY said the first call regarding a possible explosion came at 9:31 a.m, and while definitive numbers of those injured is still unconfirmed, most sources are reporting around a dozen with minor to severe injuries.
This post will be updated as more information comes out.
Update (12:30pm EST):
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference that the explosion, which destroyed two buildings, was caused by a gas leak. The “only indication of danger came about 15 minutes earlier” than blast, he said. The FDNY is currently battling a 5-alarm fire on the scene.
2 people are dead, with 18 others injured with different levels of seriousness, the mayor said. A search will be conducted as soon as the fire is put out.
Watch a livestream of his press conference here.