Thursday 18 December 2014

Death toll rises to three following New York neighbourhood explosion

Published 12/03/2014 | 14:18

The death toll following a gas explosion and a number of buildings collapsing in New York's east Harlem neighbourhood has risen to three.

There are 63 people injured following the incident and ten are still unaccounted for.

Firefighters arrived at the scene of a reported explosion amid reports that a number of buildings have collapsed in New York's east Harlem neighbourhood.

The buildings are located at East 116th St and Park Ave.

Witnesses reported hearing what sounded like an explosion before the buildings collapsed.

The police said that two residential buildings — 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue — had collapsed.

The scene in east Harlem
The scene in New York today
The scene in New York earlier
Jack Mirkinson tweeted - On 115th and Park, the furthest they'll let us go. A crazy scene. Credit: @jackmirkinson
Meher_Jamila tweeted - #NewYork Building Collapsed After HUGE Blast #Manhatten. Credit: @Meher_J

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has spoken to the media about the building collapse. He said that there are up to a dozen people still unaccounted for but there will be a thorough search for the missing people.

Images from the scene show a roaring fire and smoke billowing high above Harlem.

New York's Fire Department said there are more than 160 firefighters at the scene.

The cause of the possible explosion has yet to be identified, but foul play is not believed to be factor in the explosion.

Metro services have been suspended.

TV news footage shows smoke billowing from the area.

WABC reported that residents heard a large explosion in an apartment building at around 9am local time.

The fire department said the reports came in from around Park Avenue between 114th and 117th streets.

The police department's bomb squad has attended "out of an abundance of caution".

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