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harlem explosion


The body of an eighth victim has been found by rescue teams trapped beneath the rubble of the apartment blocks that collapsed following an explosion in East Harlem, New York City.

Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise.

Police believe a handful of people remained unaccounted for.

More than 60 people were injured after the devastating blast sent debris flying through the air on Wednesday.

Residents were said to have complained recently about “unbearable” gas smells.

Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise at the Harlem explosion site

Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise at the Harlem explosion site

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene in Upper Manhattan, said preliminary information showed the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

A fire at the site of the blast on Park Avenue and 116th Street hampered the initial search and a sinkhole created by a broken water main caused further difficulties.

But firefighters worked through the night on Wednesday, as temperatures dropped to near freezing, to sift through the rubble, using a bulldozer to help clear the site.

Rescue workers pulled three bodies out of the debris in the early hours of Thursday morning, and a seventh death was confirmed just before 08:00 local time.

No details have yet been given of the eighth victim.


Rescuers are now about halfway through clearing the rubble.

The blast shattered windows a block away and rained debris on to nearby railway lines, which closed Grand Central station for several hours on Wednesday.

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At least six people are dead, several are missing and dozens are injured in East Harlem buildings collapse after a gas leak sparked a powerful explosion leveled the New York City blocks.

Rescue crews began searching the debris on Wednesday evening for victims after the fire was finally put out.

Train services to and from Grand Central Terminal have been restored after a complete halt earlier.

As the search-and-rescue operation continued under floodlights on Wednesday night, the emergency services confirmed that the death toll had risen first to four, then to five and to six, with several people still missing.

Earlier, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference from the scene that the gas leak had been reported to the utility company 15 minutes before the blast on Wednesday morning.

Bill de Blasio said the “major explosion” had destroyed two buildings and heavily damaged other structures.

East Harlem explosion destroyed two buildings and smashed nearby windows

East Harlem explosion destroyed two buildings and smashed nearby windows

As night fell, rescue crews were finally able to search for victims in the debris after the fire raged for most of the day.

Heavy equipment, including a bulldozer, helped clear the remnants of two multi-storey buildings. Thermal imaging cameras were brought in to identify bodies or pockets of fire inside the mountain of debris.

The New York fire department said 22 people had been hurt, but a tally of local hospitals by ABC News found that 64 had been admitted with injuries as a result of the incident.

That figure included seven children, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The utility company, Con Edison, says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion.

Streets and pavements around the site were littered with broken glass from shattered windows.

The blast scattered debris across nearby rooftops, correspondents say, destroying adjoining five-storey buildings in a largely Latino working-class neighborhood.

Witnesses reported the powerful blast knocked items off shelves in nearby stores.

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According to New York City authorities, three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem.

Scores of others have been injured in the incident, which sent smoke billowing into the city sky.

More than 250 firefighters tackled the blaze at the scene near 116th Street and Park Avenue.

Train services to and from Grand Central Terminal have been restored after a complete halt earlier.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference from the scene that the gas leak had been reported to the utility company 15 minutes before the blast on Wednesday morning.

Bill de Blasio said the “major explosion” had destroyed two buildings and heavily damaged other structures.

The mayor’s office confirmed to the Associated Press news agency that nine people were still missing by early Wednesday evening.

Three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem

Three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem

The New York fire department elevated the incident to the highest threat level possible.

The department said 22 people had been hurt, but a tally of local hospitals by ABC News found that 64 had been admitted with injuries as a result of the incident.

That figure included seven children, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The utility company, Con Edison, says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion.

Streets and pavements around the site were littered with broken glass from shattered windows.

Witnesses reported the powerful blast knocked items off shelves in nearby stores.

Authorities in the area were said to be handing out medical masks to residents due to the thick white smoke at the scene.

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