Two Said to be Killed in East Harlem Gas Explosion

Photo credit: NYC Mayor’s Office

A large explosion in East Harlem this morning that is said to have killed two people may have been due to a gas leak, said Mayor Bill DeBlasio at a press conference held just this hour.

The explosion destroyed one building completely on 116th and Park Ave., and seriously affected an adjacent building.

Preliminary reports say two people were killed in the explosion, with 18 others injured and taken to a local hospital.

This morning, Con Edison told the media that they received a call complaining of a gas smell in the area, but their workers arrived at the scene just minutes after the explosion, around 9:15 AM.

Others may have been injured or killed due to the explosion which could be heard more than 40 blocks away on 152nd St., since there are still some people missing according to Mayor Bill DeBlasio who spoke one block from the scene at around 12:20 PM.

Debris from the explosion fell onto the Metro North Rail Road train line tracks which are adjacent to the building collapse.  Those lines have been temporarily shut down, with no word on when they will reopen. Metro North and New Haven lines have been affected.

A large fire also ensued after the explosion. As of 12:27 PM, the fire was still blazing.

Media reports say that work on a gas line were about to be done in the area prior to the explosion.

A man is reported by WNYC Radio to have used a drone to take video footage of the scene, which according to news reports, he is selling to news stations.

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