This is horrible news. On March 12, two residential buildings collapsed in New York City, causing at least two deaths and several serious injuries. The cause for the incident is yet to be determined, though residents reported smelling gas before an explosion leveled the buildings.
Tragedy struck the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City on the morning of March 12, as two buildings collapsed in flames with dozens of residents still inside. Two women have already been confirmed dead and dozens are injured or missing, as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.
Harlem Building Collapse: Explosion Causes Tragedy
How awful. The New York Times reports that at least two people are dead after two residential buildings — 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue — in East Harlem collapsed.
“This is an occupied building, there were people living there, we have people missing,” a senior city official told the Times. “There was a complete collapse; the fire is still going so we can’t make a search. There will be fatalities.”
The explosion that leveled the five-story buildings took place at around 9:15 a.m., and Reuters is reporting that both confirmed victims of the blast are female.
A spokeswoman for Con Edison said that reports of a heavy gas odor came in at 9:13 a.m, minutes before the explosion, but 20-year-old building resident Jennifer Salas told the Times that the residents of her building reported smelling the gas the night before.
“The call came in at 9:13 a.m. from a resident who reported smelling gas inside the apartment, but the resident indicated the odor may have been coming from outside the building,” Con Ed spokesman Sydney Alvarez said. “Two Con Edison crews were dispatched at about 9:15 a.m. and arrived just after the explosion occurred.”
Harlem Building Explosion Levels Two Buildings
Police have confirmed that at least 18 other people were injured in the blast, and are being treated at local hospitals. Mayor Bill De Blasio called the incident a “tragedy of the worst kind” when he arrived on the scene, because Con Ed had little to no time to prevent this from happening.
“There are a number of people missing,” de Blasio said. “I emphasize that those who are missing could well be safe in another location and just not contacted yet or reachable yet.”
HollywoodLife.com sends thoughts and prayers to the victims of this terrible tragedy.
— Shannon Miller