NEWS

Manhattan Explosion Kills Three: Buildings Collapse In Harlem After Residents Reported Smelling Gas (PICTURES) (VIDEO)

12/03/2014 15:15 | Updated 13 March 2014

UPDATE: As of early Thursday morning, local police say that thee people have been confirmed dead and nine remain unaccounted for.

Three people have died and 18 are injured after a gas explosion caused multiple buildings to collapse in Manhattan, New York City.

Two buildings have reportedly collapsed, with photos and eyewitness accounts from the scene showing a massive dust cloud, roaring flames and smoke billowing high above Harlem.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said a gas leak was responsible for causing the building on the corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue to burst into flames, as residents reported smelling a strange odor to ConEdison right before the blast.

CBS reports the smoke could be seen from 114th Street and Park Avenue.

NBC New York reports Metro-North trains nearby have been shut down due to debris from the explosion blocking the tracks.

harlem

harlem new york

A man who was on the 15th floor of a building on 125th Street said he saw dark smoke billowing down several blocks.

“The building shook and then we looked to see what was happening. We saw a whole lot of smoke. A lot of smoke came out,” witness Samuel Paul told CBS 2. “There’s a lot of dark smoke still coming out. A lot of fire engines I saw going to 125th Street.”

“The smoke started to rise. It looked like something fell because it wasn’t like a fire. It just looked like debris smoke, similar to 9/11,” Paul added.

harlem new york

Another resident near the scene of the explosion said: “For weeks we've been smelling gas."

Ashley Rivera, 21, told New York Daily News: "We saw people flying out of the window. ... Those are my neighbors."

It has been reported one of the buildings that collapsed had a piano repair shop with apartments above. The second building housed a church.

A spokesperson for ConEd told NBC4 that at 9:13am they received a call from a resident at neighbouring 1652 Park Avenue saying she smelled gas in the bedroom of her apartment.

"She indicated that the odour may have been coming from the outside of the building,'' he said.

The company dispatched a crew two minutes later but they got there just moments after the explosion, he said.

harlem

03/14/2014 1:22 PM EDT

De Blasio Details Housing Plan

Mayor de Blasio said displaced families will be provided temporary housing for up to three months, thanks to Real Estate Board of New York.

03/14/2014 1:18 PM EDT

FDNY Commissioner: Final Debris Being Removed

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said the department is in the process of removing the site's final debris. The debris will be taken to Randall's Island for further forensic investigation.

03/14/2014 1:12 PM EDT

De Blasio, Mark-Viverito Provide Update On Explosion Outside Resident Service Center

03/14/2014 12:21 PM EDT

Bill Clinton Visits Explosion Site

03/13/2014 7:31 PM EDT

The Tragic Irony Behind The Building Collapse

HuffPost's Saki Knafo reports:

A gas leak almost certainly played a role in the explosion that flattened two buildings in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, killing at least seven people and injuring many more. City officials have said as much, and local residents told reporters on Wednesday that they smelled gas in the area well before the blast.

So it’s darkly ironic that the owner of one of the buildings destroyed in the explosion had actually shunned gas for an alternative energy source -- a far less combustible one.

Biodiesel, a unconventional fuel celebrated by proponents as a safer and cleaner alternative to both gas and petroleum, is made of recycled vegetable oil, animal fats, and other substances. Only about 1,000 buildings in New York City have heating systems that run solely on biodiesel, but the building at 1646 Park Avenue was one of them.

Read more here.

03/13/2014 7:13 PM EDT

Officials: Eighth Person Found Dead

03/13/2014 4:20 PM EDT

Fourth Victim Identified

Andreas Panagopoulos has been identified as one of at least seven victims who died from the explosion.

The Wall Street Journal reports Panagopoulos, 43, was a Greek musician who lived in East Harlem and worked in online advertising.

03/13/2014 3:47 PM EDT

Children With Asthma Near Explosion Site Return Home

03/13/2014 1:11 PM EDT

De Blasio: No Indication Of Asbestos In The Air

De Blasio said that there was no reason to suspect there might be asbestos in the air after a deadly explosion that rocked Harlem on Wednesday. In a presser on Thursday, he stressed that people in the area should still close their windows and avoid any visible smoke outside.

03/13/2014 1:08 PM EDT

NYPD Commish: We Will Look At Surveillance Footage

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that there were a number of surveillance cameras that captured images of the explosion and they will be a part of the ongoing investigation.

","short_text":"

","short_text":"

#FDNY Cmr Cassano & Chief of Dept Kilduff brief @deBlasioNYC & Read More"},{"id":"88","created":"03/13/2014 8:59 AM EDT","title":"De Blasio Meeting With First Responders At 9AM","tweet_link":"88_de-blasio-meeting-with-first-responders-at-9am","entry_text":"

TODAY: Mayor @BilldeBlasio meets first responders at site of #EastHarlemExplosion and building collapse at 9 AM; updates NY'ers at 11:45 AM.

— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) March 13, 2014

","short_text":"

TODAY: Mayor @BilldeBlasio meets first responders at site of #EastHarlemExplosion ...Read More"},{"id":"87","created":"03/13/2014 7:47 AM EDT","title":"Seventh Body Pulled From Rubble","tweet_link":"87_seventh-body-pulled-from-rubble","entry_text":"

BREAKING: New York City fire officials confirm 7th person dead in gas explosion; body pulled from rubble.

— The Associated Press (@AP) March 13, 2014

","short_text":"

BREAKING: New York City fire officials confirm 7th person dead in gas explosion; body pulled from rubble.

— The Associated Press (@AP) ...Read More"},{"id":"86","created":"03/13/2014 4:37 AM EDT","title":"More Victims Discovered","tweet_link":"86_more-victims-discovered","entry_text":"

BREAKING: Fire department spokesman confirms a sixth person dead in Harlem gas explosion

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING: Fire department spokesman confirms a sixth person dead in Harlem gas explosion

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years ago

Read More"},{"id":"85","created":"03/13/2014 3:55 AM EDT","title":"5th Victim Found","tweet_link":"85_5th-victim-found","entry_text":"

BREAKING: NYPD spokesman confirms fifth person dead in Harlem gas explosion; body pulled from rubble

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING: NYPD spokesman confirms fifth person dead in Harlem gas explosion; body pulled from rubble

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years agoRead More"},{"id":"84","created":"03/13/2014 1:17 AM EDT","title":"Death Toll Reportedly Climbs","tweet_link":"84_death-toll-reportedly-climbs","entry_text":"

BREAKING NEWS: Death toll rises to 4 in blast that leveled 2 buildings in East Harlem

— CBS News (@CBSNews) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING NEWS: Death toll rises to 4 in blast that leveled 2 buildings in East Harlem

— CBS News (@CBSNews) 5 years ago

"},{"id":"83","created":"03/12/2014 10:49 PM EDT","title":"Before-After Photos Show Massive Damage","tweet_link":"83_beforeafter-photos-show-massive-damage","entry_text":"

Still images captured by Google Street View reveal the explosion area before Wednesday's explosion. Aftermath photos from The Associated Press show the devastation.

Click here to see the pictures.

","short_text":"

Still images captured by Google Street View reveal the explosion area before Wednesday's explosion. Aftermath photos from The Associated Press show the devastation.

Read More"},{"id":"82","created":"03/12/2014 10:34 PM EDT","title":"Second Victim Idenfitied As Carmen Tanco","tweet_link":"82_second-victim-idenfitied-as-carmen-tanco","entry_text":"

A second victim of the Harlem gas explosion was identified Wednesday night as Carmen Tanco, a resident of one of the Park Avenue buildings that was destroyed.

Tanco, 67, was identified by members of her family and her church, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A News 12 cameraman, Angel Vargas, said Tanco was a cousin who was killed in her apartment. She worked as a dental hygienist and, when she didn't show up for her job Wednesday, family members began a frantic search, according to the station.

","short_text":"

A second victim of the Harlem gas explosion was identified Wednesday night as Carmen Tanco, a resident of one of the Park Avenue buildings that was destroyed.

Tanco, 67, was identified by Read More"},{"id":"81","created":"03/12/2014 9:31 PM EDT","title":"Hospital Says All 11 People Treated From Blast Have Been Released","tweet_link":"81_hospital-says-all-11-people-treated-from-blast-have-been-released","entry_text":"

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center said all 11 people brought there from the Harlem explosion have been treated and released.

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center said all 11 people brought there from the Harlem explosion have been treated and released.

-- Saki Knafo

"},{"id":"80","created":"03/12/2014 8:55 PM EDT","title":"Firefighters Finish Searching Nearby Streets","tweet_link":"80_firefighters-finish-searching-nearby-streets","entry_text":"

UPDATE: Firefighters complete search of streets near Harlem explosion, no additional victims found, FDNY says http://t.co/YK6E7STAAn

— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

UPDATE: Firefighters complete search of streets near Harlem explosion, no additional victims found, FDNY says http://t.co/YK6E7STAAn

— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) Read More"},{"id":"79","created":"03/12/2014 8:42 PM EDT","title":"Facebook Page Set Up For Victim","tweet_link":"79_facebook-page-set-up-for-victim","entry_text":"

A Facebook tribute to Griselde Camacho can be found here.

","short_text":"

A Facebook tribute to Griselde Camacho can be found here.

"},{"id":"78","created":"03/12/2014 8:01 PM EDT","title":"First Victim Identified As Griselde Camacho","tweet_link":"78_first-victim-identified-as-griselde-camacho","entry_text":"

One of the three victims has been identified as Griselde Camacho, 44, a public safety sergeant at Hunter College. She lived in one of the buildings that collapsed, 1644 Park Avenue, and died after sustaining burns in the blast, according to the New York Daily News.

Jennifer Raab, the president of Hunter College, released a statement confirming the news. Camacho had worked at Hunter since 2008 and was stationed in the Silberman School of Social Work, according to Newsday.

\"Our hearts go out to Griselde's family at this terrible time,\" Raab said. \"We know this is a difficult time for all those who knew and worked with Sergeant Camacho, whether at the Silberman School or as part of the public safety office. All of you will be in our thoughts in the days ahead.\"

","short_text":"

One of the three victims has been identified as Griselde Camacho, 44, a public safety sergeant at Hunter College. She lived in one of t...Read More"},{"id":"77","created":"03/12/2014 7:03 PM EDT","title":"Red Cross Reception Center Nearby","tweet_link":"77_red-cross-reception-center-nearby","entry_text":"

The Red Cross has a reception center at nearby PS 57 for victims and their families. The school is located at 176 East 115th Street.

","short_text":"

The Red Cross has a reception center at nearby PS 57 for victims and their families. The school is located at 176...Read More"},{"id":"76","created":"03/12/2014 6:57 PM EDT","title":"Mayor's Office Confirms Another Death","tweet_link":"76_mayors-office-confirms-another-death","entry_text":"

New York City mayor's office confirms 3rd person dead in Harlem gas explosion, 9 missing-@AP

— AJAM Live (@ajamlive) 7 months ago

","short_text":"

New York City mayor's office confirms 3rd person dead in Harlem gas explosion, 9 missing-@AP

— AJAM Live (@ajamlive) Read More"},{"id":"75","created":"03/12/2014 6:31 PM EDT","title":"CNN: At Least 63 Injured","tweet_link":"75_cnn-at-least-63-injured","entry_text":"

At least 63 are reported injured after blast in East Harlem that leveled two buildings. http://t.co/fxgjABlUWa http://t.co/U5rWAgL31O

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) 7 years ago

","short_text":"

At least 63 are reported injured after blast in East Harlem that leveled two buildings. http://t.co/fxgjABlUWa http://t.co/U5rWAgL31O

— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) Read More"},{"id":"74","created":"03/12/2014 5:48 PM EDT","title":"Mount Sinai Discharges Most Patients","tweet_link":"74_mount-sinai-discharges-most-patients","entry_text":"

Mount Sinai Hospital reports that it has discharged 19 out of the 22 patients it received from the building collapse. Three remain.

","short_text":"

Mount Sinai Hospital reports that it has discharged 19 out of the 22 patients it received from the building collapse. Three remain.
\n

"},{"id":"73","created":"03/12/2014 5:36 PM EDT","title":"Metro-North Service Restored","tweet_link":"73_metronorth-service-restored","entry_text":"

TRANSIT ALERT: Metro-North restores all lines to and from Grand Central after explosion, building collapse http://t.co/BOB49U5YEx

— First 4 Traffic NY (@Traffic4NY) 1 year ago

","short_text":"

TRANSIT ALERT: Metro-North restores all lines to and from Grand Central after explosion, building collapse http://t.co/BOB49U5YEx

— First 4 Traffic NY (@Traffic4NY) Read More"},{"id":"72","created":"03/12/2014 5:13 PM EDT","title":"Heartbreaking Video Shows 18-Year-Old Who Can't Find Aunt After Explosion","tweet_link":"72_heartbreaking-video-shows-18yearold-who-cant-find-aunt-after-explosion","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"71","created":"03/12/2014 5:12 PM EDT","title":"11 Patients At New York-Presbyterian Hospital","tweet_link":"71_11-patients-at-new-yorkpresbyterian-hospital","entry_text":"

New York-Presbyterian Hospital now reports that it has received 11 patients in total from the explosion. \"One has been treated and released. The remaining ten patients are currently under evaluation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. No other information is available at this time.\"

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

New York-Presbyterian Hospital now reports that it has received 11 patients in total from the explosion. \"One has been treated and released. The remaining ten patients are currently under evaluation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center....Read More"},{"id":"70","created":"03/12/2014 4:12 PM EDT","title":"WABC: Officials Say 55 People Injured In Building Collapse","tweet_link":"70_wabc-officials-say-55-people-injured-in-building-collapse","entry_text":"

Officials now say 55 injured in the #EastHarlemExplosion http://t.co/VoIBZH7O6l

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Officials now say 55 injured in the #EastHarlemExplosion http://t.co/VoIBZH7O6l

&mdash...Read More"},{"id":"69","created":"03/12/2014 3:50 PM EDT","title":"WATCH: Dramatic Scene From Right After Explosion","tweet_link":"69_watch-dramatic-scene-from-right-after-explosion","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"68","created":"03/12/2014 3:42 PM EDT","title":"23 Patients At Mount Sinai Hospitals, 13 at Harlem Hospital Center","tweet_link":"68_23-patients-at-mount-sinai-hospitals-13-at-harlem-hospital-center","entry_text":"

A Mount Sinai Hospital spokesperson said they are treating victims from the explosion: \"22 patients have been treated at Mount Sinai and 1 patient has been treated at Mount Sinai St. Lukes.\"

Harlem Hospital Center reports that it has received 13 patients from the explosion: \"Three children, 1 critical and 2 in stable condition. Ten adult patients all in stable condition, ranging from 20 to 79 years of age. The hospital remains on standby and is prepared to respond to any patient care needs.\"

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

A Mount Sinai Hospital spokesperson said they are treating victims from the explosion: \"22 patients have been treated at Mount Sinai and 1 patient has been treated at Mount Sinai St. Lukes.\"

Harlem Hospital Center reports that it has received 13 ...Read More"},{"id":"67","created":"03/12/2014 3:40 PM EDT","title":"Two FBI Agents Injured In Blast","tweet_link":"67_two-fbi-agents-injured-in-blast","entry_text":"

From NBC4 New York:

Two on-duty FBI agents who were driving through the area at the time of the explosion were among those hurt, but their injuries were not life-threatening, the FBI said.

","short_text":"

From NBC4 New York:

Two on-duty FBI agents who were driving through the...Read More"},{"id":"66","created":"03/12/2014 3:32 PM EDT","title":"Federal Investigators Headed To Site Of Harlem Explosion","tweet_link":"66_federal-investigators-headed-to-site-of-harlem-explosion","entry_text":"

The National Transportation Safety Board announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that it has \"launched a go-team to investigate a gas explosion and subsequent fire in New York City.\"

The NTSB investigates gas pipeline explosions, in addition to investigating plane and train accidents.

-- Christopher Mathias

","short_text":"

The National Transportation Safety Board announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that it has \"launched a go-team to investigate a gas explosion and subsequent fire in Ne...Read More"},{"id":"65","created":"03/12/2014 2:44 PM EDT","title":"Report On Local Heroes","tweet_link":"65_report-on-local-heroes","entry_text":"

Others took pictures. THESE guys saved a child from the rubble of #eastharlemexplosion http://t.co/gsm65GyPA2 pic.twitter.com/61SF3X5iJS

— PIX11 (@WPIX) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Others took pictures. THESE guys saved a child from the rubble of #eastharlemexplosion http://t....Read More"},{"id":"64","created":"03/12/2014 2:14 PM EDT","title":"FDNY: Over A Dozen People Still Unaccounted For After Explosion","tweet_link":"64_fdny-over-a-dozen-people-still-unaccounted-for-after-explosion","entry_text":"

FDNY officials: more than a dozen people unaccounted for after East Harlem building explosion. Unclear how many were inside at time of blast

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

FDNY officials: more than a dozen people unaccounted for after East Harlem building explosion. Unclear how many were inside at time of blast

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) Read More"},{"id":"63","created":"03/12/2014 2:00 PM EDT","title":"Injured Adult And Child At Weill Cornell","tweet_link":"63_injured-adult-and-child-at-weill-cornell","entry_text":"

An adult and a child who were injured in the collapse are under evaluation at the Weill Cornell campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

An adult and a child who were injured in the collapse are under evaluation at the Weill Cornell campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to a hospital spokesperson.

-- Saki Knafo

"},{"id":"62","created":"03/12/2014 1:36 PM EDT","title":"Harlem Explosion Occurred One Day After Report On Crumbling NYC Infrastructure ","tweet_link":"62_harlem-explosion-occurred-one-day-after-report-on-crumbling-nyc-infrastructure-","entry_text":"

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed this afternoon that the deadly Harlem explosion was caused by a gas leak. Although details surrounding the leak remain unclear, a report released Tuesday about the city's crumbling infrastructure could offer a clue.

A report from the Center For Urban Future Study estimates that the city needs to spend $47.3 billion to fix its deteriorating infrastructure. A passage from the report mentions old gas lines:

Many of the city’s gas, steam, sewer and water lines are made of old and outmoded materials like unlined cast iron, making them highly susceptible to leaks and breaks. Largely because of leaks, over 2 percent of the gas Con Edison sends to customers every year never makes it to its final destination.

For more on the report, go here.

--Christopher Mathias

","short_text":"

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed this afternoon that the deadly Harlem explosion was caused by a gas leak. Although details surrounding the leak remain unclear, a report released Tuesday about the city's crumbling infrastructure could offer a clue.

<...Read More"},{"id":"61","created":"03/12/2014 1:35 PM EDT","title":"Church Member Says 2 Missing","tweet_link":"61_church-member-says-2-missing","entry_text":"

Carmen Vargas-Rosa, a lifelong member of the Christian evangelical church at the center of the Harlem building collapse, said church members are still trying to find at least two tenants who have been missing since this morning's disaster.

There are six apartments above the church housing about 20 people, she said, all of whom were members of the Spanish Christian Church. All morning, church members have been frantically working to account for everyone in the building.

Some thought to be missing turned out to be at work and school, and other tenants were confirmed to be at Mt. Sinai hospital and other area hospitals, Vargas-Rosa said.

\"We know who was safe, but there are those who we don't know anything about,\" she said.

She said it was unclear whether the two reported dead were from the church building or the neighboring structure.

Vargas-Rosa said she smelled gas last night when she was in the neighborhood visiting family members. She said she thought the smell was coming from the deli at the corner of 116th and Park Ave., and told the owners about it.

The Spanish Christian Church has a long history in Harlem, just celebrating its 80th anniversary last fall. There are about 60 total church members.

-- Chris Kirkham

","short_text":"

Carmen Vargas-Rosa, a lifelong member of the Christian evangelical church at the center of the Harlem building collapse, said church members are still trying to find at least two tenants who have been missing since this morning's disaster.

There ...Read More"},{"id":"60","created":"03/12/2014 1:32 PM EDT","title":"Man Pilots Drone Over Explosion Site","tweet_link":"60_man-pilots-drone-over-explosion-site","entry_text":"

Animal New York reported on the man seen flying a drone over the explosion site Wednesday. Brian Wilson, the pilot of a DJI quadcopter, said his drone was capable of flying to a height of 1,400 feet. Wilson was taking pictures to sell to a news outlet, but he cryptically revealed: “I got some good shots that ain’t nobody getting.

Read more here.

","short_text":"

Animal New York reported on the man seen flying a drone over the explosion site Wednesday. Brian Wilson, the pilot of a DJI quadcopter, said his drone was ca...Read More"},{"id":"59","created":"03/12/2014 1:24 PM EDT","title":"2 More People With 'Life-Threatening' Injuries","tweet_link":"59_2-more-people-with-lifethreatening-injuries","entry_text":"

FDNY now says 24 injured, 2 with life-threatening injuries #EastHarlemExplosion http://t.co/1RCGYkGUcx

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

FDNY now says 24 injured, 2 with life-threatening injuries #EastHarlemExplosion http://t.co/1RCG...Read More"},{"id":"58","created":"03/12/2014 1:21 PM EDT","title":"Staggering Photos From The Scene","tweet_link":"58_staggering-photos-from-the-scene","entry_text":"

Photos show destruction in Harlem:

See more photos here.

","short_text":"

Photos show destruction in Harlem:

See more photos here.

"},{"id":"57","created":"03/12/2014 1:11 PM EDT","title":"'A Tragedy Of The Worst Kind'","tweet_link":"57_a-tragedy-of-the-worst-kind","entry_text":"

Speaking at a press conference near the scene Wednesday, Mayor De Blasio called the explosion \"a tragedy of the worst kind.\" Read more about his comments here.

","short_text":"

Speaking at a press conference near the scene Wednesday, Mayor De Blasio called the explosion \"a tragedy of the worst kind.\" Read mor...Read More"},{"id":"56","created":"03/12/2014 12:52 PM EDT","title":"Fire Marshals On Scene","tweet_link":"56_fire-marshals-on-scene","entry_text":"

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano says fire marshals are on the scene, and once they get through the debris, they will get to the basement where they think the fire was ignited. They are in the process of relieving the first responders that arrived, he said.

","short_text":"

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano says fire marshals are on the scene, and once they get through the debris, they will get to the basement where they think the fire was ignited. They are in the process of relieving the first responders that arrived, he sai...Read More"},{"id":"55","created":"03/12/2014 12:50 PM EDT","title":"Red Cross Center Set Up","tweet_link":"55_red-cross-center-set-up","entry_text":"

.@RedCross has set up a center with food and water at PS 157: 176 East 115th St. between 3rd & Lex. #eastharlemexplosion

— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

.@RedCross has set up a center with food and water at PS 157: 176 East 115th St. between 3rd & Lex. Read More"},{"id":"54","created":"03/12/2014 12:49 PM EDT","title":"250 FDNY Members At Scene","tweet_link":"54_250-fdny-members-at-scene","entry_text":"

#FDNY Cmr Cassano: There are now 250 members at the scene with special equipment, currently extinguishing fire & doing search/rescue.

— FDNY (@FDNY) 3 years ago

","short_text":"

#FDNY Cmr Cassano: There are now 250 members at the scene with special equipment, currently extinguishing fire & doing search/rescue.

— FDNY (@FDNY) Read More"},{"id":"53","created":"03/12/2014 12:48 PM EDT","title":"View Of Explosion From Plane","tweet_link":"53_view-of-explosion-from-plane","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"52","created":"03/12/2014 12:45 PM EDT","title":"Bill de Blasio Cancels All Meetings","tweet_link":"52_bill-de-blasio-cancels-all-meetings","entry_text":"

Mayor Bill de Blasio has cancelled all previously scheduled events today, including his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

","short_text":"

Mayor Bill de Blasio has cancelled all previously scheduled events today, including his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"},{"id":"51","created":"03/12/2014 12:42 PM EDT","title":"FDNY Commissioner Speaks","tweet_link":"51_fdny-commissioner-speaks","entry_text":"

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano says if they had gotten to the scene five minutes earlier, firefighters' lives would have been at risk. He urged those who need housing, counseling, food, water or other resources to go to 176 East 115th Street.

","short_text":"

FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano says if they had gotten to the scene five minutes earlier, firefighters' lives would have been at risk. He urged those who need housing, counseling, food, water or other resources to go to 176 East 115th Street.

"},{"id":"50","created":"03/12/2014 12:40 PM EDT","title":"5 Patients At Harlem Hospital Center","tweet_link":"50_5-patients-at-harlem-hospital-center","entry_text":"

A spokesperson for Harlem Hospital Center writes that the hospital has received five patients from the explosion: \"One is a minor with serious injuries. Three adult patients are in stable condition. One additional adult patient walked in reporting hearing loss. The hospital remains on standby and is prepared to respond to any patient care needs.\"

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

A spokesperson for Harlem Hospital Center writes that the hospital has received five patients from the explosion: \"One is a minor with serious injuries. Three adult patients are in stable condition. One additional adult patient walked in reporting hear...Read More"},{"id":"49","created":"03/12/2014 12:33 PM EDT","title":"No Word On How Many People Are Missing","tweet_link":"49_no-word-on-how-many-people-are-missing","entry_text":"

De Blasio says we'll have more information on the number of people missing later. Waiting to get a better read on those unaccounted for.

","short_text":"

De Blasio says we'll have more information on the number of people missing later. Waiting to get a better read on those unaccounted for.
\n

"},{"id":"48","created":"03/12/2014 12:33 PM EDT","title":"Train Passing Explosion 'Felt As If It Was Jumping Off The Track'","tweet_link":"48_train-passing-explosion-felt-as-if-it-was-jumping-off-the-track","entry_text":"

A commuter on the Metro-North train this morning, who didn't wish to be named, told HuffPost she was thankful for her train conductor's composure during the explosion. She writes:

I was on the train at Harlem (we had just passed 116th St) when the explosion happened. There was a loud bang and the train felt as if it was jumping off the track – I thought it was going to get derailed. The conductor came on immediately and stated that for anyone that heard or felt that, it was a building explosion at street level, it was not the train. He said it so calmly that I immediately assumed it was a planned demolition of a building a few blocks away. We pulled up a bit on the tracks and then came to a stop. Again, the conductor came on and said that they just wanted to make sure we were in the clear to proceed to Grand Central. Once we were “cleared” we were on our way. Everyone aboard the train was very calm....The first time I even suspected that we had a close call was when we pulled into Grand Central and the conductor said “All I have to say is, thank God we were 15 seconds ahead of it”. At that time, I knew the event was unplanned and the conductor had witnessed the explosion first hand – all the while keeping all of us on the train calm.

-- Ariel Edwards-Levy

","short_text":"

A commuter on the Metro-North train this morning, who didn't wish to be named, told HuffPost she was thankful for her train conductor's composure during the explosion. She writes:

I was on the train at Harlem (we had just passed 116th...Read More"},{"id":"47","created":"03/12/2014 12:31 PM EDT","title":"Council Speaker's Office Being Used As Command Post","tweet_link":"47_council-speakers-office-being-used-as-command-post","entry_text":"

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said at the press conference that her district is office is half a block away and is now being used as a command post.

","short_text":"

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said at the press conference that her district is office is half a block away and is now being used as a command post.

"},{"id":"46","created":"03/12/2014 12:28 PM EDT","title":"De Blasio Says To Call 311","tweet_link":"46_de-blasio-says-to-call-311","entry_text":"

De Blasio says he's spoken to the pastor of the church that exploded. A special hotline will soon be set up, but for now 311 can be accessed.

","short_text":"

De Blasio says he's spoken to the pastor of the church that exploded. A special hotline will soon be set up, but for now 311 can be accessed.
\n

"},{"id":"45","created":"03/12/2014 12:27 PM EDT","title":"FDNY Responded In Two Minutes","tweet_link":"45_fdny-responded-in-two-minutes","entry_text":"

De Blasio said 255 firefighters are currently on the scene. The FDNY responded within two minutes of the explosion.

","short_text":"

De Blasio said 255 firefighters are currently on the scene. The FDNY responded within two minutes of the explosion.
\n

"},{"id":"44","created":"03/12/2014 12:25 PM EDT","title":"De Blasio: Gas Leak Caused Explosion, 18 Injured","tweet_link":"44_de-blasio-gas-leak-caused-explosion-18-injured","entry_text":"

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, confirming that a resident at 1652 Park Avenue called about a gas leak nearby.

The FDNY is currently battling a 5-alarm fire on the scene.

So far, 18 injuries have been reported with different levels of seriousness, the mayor said. A search will be conducted as soon as the fire is put out.

De Blasio said there are no indications of foul play.

Watch a livestream of his press conference here.

","short_text":"

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, confirming that a resident at ...Read More"},{"id":"43","created":"03/12/2014 12:10 PM EDT","title":"Hospitals Respond To Blast","tweet_link":"43_hospitals-respond-to-blast","entry_text":"

A spokesperson for Mount Sinai Hospital writes, \"The Mount Sinai Health System has activated its emergency command response. At this time The Mount Sinai Hospital is treating several patients. Mount Sinai St. Luke's is expecting to receive patients as well. We are coordinating our response with FDNY and EMS.\"

Harlem Hospital has received one injured person as well. An update about the injury is expected soon.

-- Saki Knafo

","short_text":"

A spokesperson for Mount Sinai Hospital writes, \"The Mount Sinai Health System has activated its emergency command response. At this time The Mount Sinai Hospital is treating several patients. Mount Sinai St. Luke's is expecting to receive patients as...Read More"},{"id":"42","created":"03/12/2014 12:04 PM EDT","title":"Firefighters Still Battling Blaze","tweet_link":"42_firefighters-still-battling-blaze","entry_text":"

Firefighters still battling the blaze at the site of the building collapse in Harlem pic.twitter.com/TL0SR5W9XI

— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Firefighters still battling the blaze at the site of the building collapse in Harlem pic.twitter.com/TL0SR5W9XI

— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) Read More"},{"id":"41","created":"03/12/2014 12:00 PM EDT","title":"More Photos From The Scene","tweet_link":"41_more-photos-from-the-scene","entry_text":"

From HuffPost's Paul Vale:

\"fdny\"

\"smoke\"

\"explosion\"

","short_text":"

From HuffPost's Paul Vale:

"},{"id":"40","created":"03/12/2014 11:56 AM EDT","title":"NYPD Confirms Second Fatality","tweet_link":"40_nypd-confirms-second-fatality","entry_text":"

NYPD confirms at least two dead in building collapse in East Harlem

— Michael Schwirtz (@mschwirtz)
March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

NYPD confirms at least two dead in building collapse in East Harlem

— Michael Schwirtz (@mschwirtz) March 12, 2014

Read More"},{"id":"39","created":"03/12/2014 11:56 AM EDT","title":"Firefighters Search Through Rubble Of Blast","tweet_link":"39_firefighters-search-through-rubble-of-blast","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"38","created":"03/12/2014 11:51 AM EDT","title":"Press Conference Soon","tweet_link":"38_press-conference-soon","entry_text":"

City officials plan to hold a press conference at noon.

","short_text":"

City officials plan to hold a press conference at noon.

"},{"id":"37","created":"03/12/2014 11:51 AM EDT","title":"Church Official Suspects Explosion Caused By Gas Leak","tweet_link":"37_church-official-suspects-explosion-caused-by-gas-leak","entry_text":"

Carmen Vargas Rosa, the financial secretary for the Spanish Christian Church at 1644 Park Avenue, told HuffPost's Andy Campbell she thinks the explosion was caused by a gas leak. About six months ago, Rosa said, Con Edison came out to repair a leak in the building.

\"The way the building imploded after the explosion, it must have happened on the bottom floor,\" Rosa said. \"The only thing I can see doing that much damage is a gas explosion.\"

","short_text":"

Carmen Vargas Rosa, the financial secretary for the Spanish Christian Church at 1644 Park Avenue, told HuffPost's Andy Campbell she thinks the explosion was caused by a gas leak. About six months ago, Rosa said, Con Edison came out to repair a leak in ...Read More"},{"id":"36","created":"03/12/2014 11:48 AM EDT","title":"'There Was Glass All Over And Brick Everywhere","tweet_link":"36_there-was-glass-all-over-and-brick-everywhere","entry_text":"

Spencer Casey, 24, said that he walked past the church at 1644 Park Avenue around 7:30 this morning, like he does each day on his way to work. About two hours later, he \"felt the building shake\" from four blocks away.

\"We went down to check it out,\" he told HuffPost. \"The church across the street, the windows were blown out, there was glass all over and brick everywhere... I'm just surprised that we could feel it.\"

-- Steven Hoffer

","short_text":"

Spencer Casey, 24, said that he walked past the church at 1644 Park Avenue around 7:30 this morning, like he does each day on his way to work. About two hours later, he \"felt the building shake\" from four blocks away.

\"We went down to check it ou...Read More"},{"id":"35","created":"03/12/2014 11:36 AM EDT","title":"Obama Briefed On Explosion, NBC Reports","tweet_link":"35_obama-briefed-on-explosion-nbc-reports","entry_text":"

President Obama has been briefed on the building collapse situation in East Harlem, NY, White House official says - @NBCNews

— Breaking Politics (@breakingpol) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

President Obama has been briefed on the building collapse situation in East Harlem, NY, White House official says - @NBCNews

— Breaking Politics (@breakin...Read More"},{"id":"34","created":"03/12/2014 11:36 AM EDT","title":"Before And After The Explosion","tweet_link":"34_before-and-after-the-explosion","entry_text":"

Before & after picture of the site of the explosion in #Harlem. pic.twitter.com/1mEpc5Y2mw

— Brendon Geoffrion (@tvbrendon) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Before & after picture of the site of the explosion in #Harlem. pic.twitter.com/1mEpc5Y2mw

&mda...Read More"},{"id":"33","created":"03/12/2014 11:36 AM EDT","title":"Photo From Above Of Fire Trucks Swarming The Scene","tweet_link":"33_photo-from-above-of-fire-trucks-swarming-the-scene","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"32","created":"03/12/2014 11:35 AM EDT","title":"Building Was Supposed To Have New Gas Pipe Installed","tweet_link":"32_building-was-supposed-to-have-new-gas-pipe-installed","entry_text":"

If it was, indeed, a gas leak that cause the explosion in Harlem on Wednesday morning, than this paragraph from the New York Daily News' write-up seems critically important:

Last June new gas pipe was supposed to be installed at one of the buildings that collapsed, 1644 Park Ave., records show. A Buildings department permit was issued to New York Heating to install 120 feet of gas pipe along the outside of the building connecting to a 5th floor stove. An employee who answered the phone at New York Heating couldn’t say when the job was complete and if it was inspected by the fire department.

","short_text":"

If it was, indeed, a gas leak that cause the explosion in Harlem on Wednesday morning, than this paragraph from the New York ...Read More"},{"id":"31","created":"03/12/2014 11:32 AM EDT","title":"Neighbor Reported Gas Smell Before Explosion","tweet_link":"31_neighbor-reported-gas-smell-before-explosion","entry_text":"

A Con Edison spokesman told NBC New York that the company was responding to a report of a gas smell at 1652 Park Avenue this morning. A woman who lives in that building called the company at 9:13 a.m., complaining that she smelled gas in her bedroom. She indicated the odor may have been coming from outside of the building, since the smell was strongest around her window.

Con Edison dispatched a crew at 9:15 a.m. It arrived minutes after the explosion occurred nearby, at 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue.

","short_text":"

A Con Edison spokesman told NBC New York that the company was responding to a report of a gas smell at 1652 Park Avenue this morning. A woman who lives in that building called the company at 9:13 a.m., complaining that she smelled gas in her bedroom. S...Read More"},{"id":"30","created":"03/12/2014 11:31 AM EDT","title":"Eyewitness: There Was 'A Wall Of Smoke'","tweet_link":"30_eyewitness-there-was-a-wall-of-smoke","entry_text":"

Christina Katopodis, 27, was waiting for a train at 116th St. and Lexington Ave. when she felt the ground shaking and a wave of sound and air hitting her.

\"People looked at each other nervously and I ran above ground to see a wall of smoke behind the Metro-North tracks just a block away,\" she told HuffPost. \"No sooner was I outside than I saw first responders rushing to the scene, blocking off the street and trying to get ambulances through the traffic. We were all shaken up, no one knew what happened. The first responders were there running into the smoke within seconds of the explosion. It was really incredible how quickly they got there.\"

Katopodis said she saw several classes of children with their teachers standing just a block away. She can still see the smoke from her building, several blocks away.

\"I walk that part of 116th several times a week, as do most people in East Harlem,\" she said. \"It's a major street that's always bustling with activity.\"

-- Ariel Edwards-Levy

","short_text":"

Christina Katopodis, 27, was waiting for a train at 116th St. and Lexington Ave. when she felt the ground shaking and a wave of sound and air hitting her.

\"People looked at each other nervously and I ran above ground to see a wall of smoke behind...Read More"},{"id":"29","created":"03/12/2014 11:31 AM EDT","title":"Crowds Forming At Grand Central As Trains Halted","tweet_link":"29_crowds-forming-at-grand-central-as-trains-halted","entry_text":"

A Metro-North spokesman tells NBC New York that there is no timetable for when train service will be restored.

Grand Central has rush hour crowds midday day b/c of Harlem situation http://t.co/0mcpTbxQwg (meishjennie/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/HVH2uTxTzK

— Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

A Metro-North spokesman tells NBC New York that there is no timetable for when train service will be restored.

Grand Central has rush hour crowds midday day b/c of Harlem situation Read More"},{"id":"28","created":"03/12/2014 11:30 AM EDT","title":"Photo Of Person Being Loaded Onto A Stretcher","tweet_link":"28_photo-of-person-being-loaded-onto-a-stretcher","entry_text":"

\"harlem

An unknown individual is loaded onto a stretcher near the scene of a building explosion in Harlem.

(Photo credit: Anthony Delgado)

","short_text":"

An unknown individual is loaded onto a stretcher near the scene of a building explosion in Harlem.

(Photo credit: Anthony Delgado)

"},{"id":"27","created":"03/12/2014 11:29 AM EDT","title":"NYPD Confirms Fatality","tweet_link":"27_nypd-confirms-fatality","entry_text":"

BREAKING: New York Police Department says 1 dead in building explosion, collapse.

— The Associated Press (@AP)
4 years ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING: New York Police Department says 1 dead in building explosion, collapse.

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years ago

"},{"id":"26","created":"03/12/2014 11:28 AM EDT","title":"HuffPost Live Talks With Eyewitnesses From The Scene","tweet_link":"26_huffpost-live-talks-with-eyewitnesses-from-the-scene","entry_text":"

HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski talks with residents who felt the Harlem explosion and shared their firsthand experiences with the blast.

\"It was a humongous boom,\" said Harlem resident Garry Wallace. \"I had never heard a sound that large before. It shook my house, it shook my bed.\"

","short_text":"

HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski talks with residents who felt the Harlem explosion and shared their firsthand experiences with the blast.

\"It was a humongous boom,\" said Harlem resident Garry Wallace. \"I had never heard a sound that large before...Read More"},{"id":"25","created":"03/12/2014 11:28 AM EDT","title":"'It Scared Everyone'","tweet_link":"25_it-scared-everyone","entry_text":"

\"We heard a boom at the church,\" Anthony Delgado, who was nearby at the time of the explosion, told HuffPost. \"Not sure if it was in the church, but it scared everyone. We ran outside and the cops were corralling us and moving us away.\"

-- Andy Campbell

","short_text":"

\"We heard a boom at the church,\" Anthony Delgado, who was nearby at the time of the explosion, told HuffPost. \"Not sure if it was in the church, but it scared everyone. We ran outside and the cops were corralling us and moving us away.\"

-- An...Read More"},{"id":"24","created":"03/12/2014 11:16 AM EDT","title":"NYT: At Least One Dead","tweet_link":"24_nyt-at-least-one-dead","entry_text":"

The New York Times is reporting that at least one person died in the collapse.

","short_text":"

The New York Times is reporting that at least one person died in the collapse.

"},{"id":"23","created":"03/12/2014 11:07 AM EDT","title":"De Blasio Heading Up To Explosion Site","tweet_link":"23_de-blasio-heading-up-to-explosion-site","entry_text":"

Mayor de Blasio heading to the explosion site. Mayor's Office will be updating his schedule throughout the day.

— Marti Adams (@Marti_Adams) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Mayor de Blasio heading to the explosion site. Mayor's Office will be updating his schedule throughout the day.

— Marti Adams (@Marti_Adams) Read More"},{"id":"22","created":"03/12/2014 11:06 AM EDT","title":"Third Harlem Collapse In Five Years","tweet_link":"22_third-harlem-collapse-in-five-years","entry_text":"

This is the 3rd building collapse in Harlem in the past 5 years. (1) 2009: 270 W. 123rd. (2) 2012: 110 W. 123rd. (3) 2014: 1644 Park Avenue.

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

This is the 3rd building collapse in Harlem in the past 5 years. (1) 2009: 270 W. 123rd. (2) 2012: 110 W. 123rd. (3) 2014: 1644 Park Avenue.

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) Read More"},{"id":"21","created":"03/12/2014 11:04 AM EDT","title":"An Eyewitness Account","tweet_link":"21_an-eyewitness-account","entry_text":"

From the New York Amsterdam News' Stephon Johnson:

)

","short_text":"

From the New York Amsterdam News' Stephon Johnson:

)

"},{"id":"20","created":"03/12/2014 11:02 AM EDT","title":"'Building Pieces And Fire Everywhere'","tweet_link":"20_building-pieces-and-fire-everywhere","entry_text":"

Gus Cortez, 36, lives across the street from where the explosion took place. He said that he \"felt it\" from his apartment.

\"It was a huge boom,\" he told HuffPost. \"The whole building fell down. We walked out and there was building pieces and fire everywhere. The police evacuated us.\"

-- Andy Campbell

","short_text":"

Gus Cortez, 36, lives across the street from where the explosion took place. He said that he \"felt it\" from his apartment.

\"It was a huge boom,\" he told HuffPost. \"The whole building fell down. We walked out and there was building pieces and fir...Read More"},{"id":"19","created":"03/12/2014 11:02 AM EDT","title":"CNN: Con Edison Called To Investigate Gas Leak Moments Before Explosion","tweet_link":"19_cnn-con-edison-called-to-investigate-gas-leak-moments-before-explosion","entry_text":"

#CNN #BREAKING: Con Edison was called to the block to investigate a gas leak moments before the explosion.

— sgallman (@sgallman) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

#CNN #BREAKING: Con Edison was called to the block to investigate a gas leak ...Read More"},{"id":"18","created":"03/12/2014 10:58 AM EDT","title":"Debris On The Streets In Harlem ","tweet_link":"18_debris-on-the-streets-in-harlem-","entry_text":"

Wow, this photo. RT @ThisIsVarEZ: Damn that building explosion on 116th n Park ave #Harlem pic.twitter.com/3XrBz4GCQe

— Brian Ries (@moneyries) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

Wow, this photo. RT @ThisIsVarEZ: Damn that building explosion on 116th n Park ave #Harlem Read More"},{"id":"17","created":"03/12/2014 10:56 AM EDT","title":"16 Injuries Reported","tweet_link":"17_16-injuries-reported","entry_text":"

FDNY: now 16 injuries (12 minor, 4 serious) in #eastharlemexplosion #breakingnews

— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

FDNY: now 16 injuries (12 minor, 4 serious) in #eastharlemexplosion Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"03/12/2014 10:50 AM EDT","title":"Explosion Felt Almost Two Miles Away","tweet_link":"16_explosion-felt-almost-two-miles-away","entry_text":"

UPDATE: Rumbles from Manhattan building collapse felt 35 blocks away, witnesses say http://t.co/EcI6TuBcgv

— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) March 12, 2014

","short_text":"

UPDATE: Rumbles from Manhattan building collapse felt 35 blocks away, witnesses say http://t.co/EcI6TuBcgv

— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) Read More"},{"id":"15","created":"03/12/2014 10:44 AM EDT","title":"Nearby Public Schools Sheltered In Place","tweet_link":"15_nearby-public-schools-sheltered-in-place","entry_text":"

New York City Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg tells HuffPost that while \"no school was directly impacted\" by the explosion, some schools near the explosion site sheltered in place, a safety procedure that keeps everyone indoors. The shelter-in-place order was lifted at about 10:45 a.m.

","short_text":"

New York City Department of Education spokeswoman Marge Feinberg tells HuffPost that while \"no school was directly impacted\" by the explosion, some schools near the explosion site sheltered in place, a safety procedure that keeps everyone indoors. The ...Read More"}]

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