U.S. News


Several Dead, Dozens Injured In East Harlem Explosion

Three people died and more than 60 were injured after a suspected gas fire brought two apartment buildings to the ground.
Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 12, 2014

More information is coming out about the devastating explosion in East Harlem Wednesday morning that brought down two five-story apartment buildings. Authorities say at least three people are dead, dozens are injured and several are still missing. 

"The three people confirmed dead. Among them, a Hunter College public safety officer named Griselde Camacho. Now, she lived at 1644 Park Avenue." (Via NY1)

WNBC reports someone called ConEdison, the city's gas supplier, to complain about the smell of gas around 9:15 a.m. Minutes later, an explosion rang throughout the neighborhood and sent smoke billowing high over New York City. 

"When I looked out the window — I live on the 17th floor — when I looked at the window, all I see was smoke. And when I seen it, I said, 'Oh my God.' It felt like a bomb." (Via WCBS)

WABC shows a side-by-side image of the two buildings, which housed a church and a piano store, before and after they caught fire and toppled to the ground. 

More than 250 firefighters and dozens of emergency personnel rushed to the scene to put out the five-alarm fire and tend to those who were injured. Local hospitals report more than 60 people were admitted, most of them with non-life-threatening injuries. (Via ABC)

The two collapsed buildings housed 15 residential units, but authorities say the surrounding buildings are structurally sound. WABC reports the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, has started an investigation into the explosion and will examine the pipeline that distributes gas in the area.