Two New York City buildings have collapsed due to possible gas leaks. The NYPD is reporting that two individuals have died and nearly 30 are thought to be injured after the alleged gas leak explosion ripped through a Harlem neighborhood apartment building complex on the East Side, crumpling at least a portion of the construction. New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the blast was a terrible tragedy, one of the worst types due to there being no time in order to get any people out. He added that searches would continue through the wreckage of the building once all the fire was put out by the FDNY.
Besides the two deceased women, there are also two other people who are reported to have injuries which are life-threatening, a couple more are suffering from serious but not life-threatening wounds and the others are reported to have slight injuries, stated the Fire Department. The mayor has revealed that there are numerous persons that are still not accounted for. One of New York City’s public official’s has been noted as saying the fatality numbers are going to change .
Clouds of thick, black smoke covered the area surrounding the building located at Park Avenue and 116th Street after tenants began reporting that they heard some sort of huge bang about 9:30 a.m. That was when the first nine-one-one call came in, and firefighters arrived upon on the scene around two to three minutes later, stated Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano.
There was a report of an odor of a gas leak reported at 1652 Park Ave. at around 9:12 a.m. that was called in from one of the building residents who stated that the gas smell could have been coming from outside of the structure. The street is served by a low-pressure gas outlet, stated utility officials who came upon the scene.
A Harlem hospital admits that it has received five injured people. There is one child who is suffering from serious injuries and three adults are considered to be stable. Another adult came in with reports of major hearing loss. The Mount Sinai Health Hospital gave a press release which says it is taking care of over 20 patients, which includes two children. At least three other hospitals in the immediate area are reporting that injured people have come in although the total number is not known at this time.
The FBI is at the scene at the present time but they have stated there is so far no suggestion of any kind of terrorism linked to the gas leak. Mayor de Blasio repeated that there are no signs of any type of foul play involved. With the building, there was 15 residential units in the two building compound. One held six and the other contained nine. About ten individuals are presently unaccounted for, but there is not any indication for sure if these people have been hurt, stated the mayor. He added that they are doing everything possible to try and find every single person who is unaccounted for at this time. However, they do not want to do any type of speculating on who may still be in the building and what their various situations might be until they are able to move in closer.
It is going to take a while to get all individuals out, but both rescue dogs and also K9 search teams that are on the scene have not identified any other survivors at this point in time. The NYPD has reported that two individuals have died and nearly 30 are thought to be injured after an alleged gas leak explosion ripped through a Harlem neighborhood building on the East Side, crumpling at least a portion of the construction.
By Kimberly Ruble