2 Dead, 18 Hurt, Others Missing in Explosion, Collapse Caused by Gas Leak: Mayor

Source: Andrew Siff and Melissa Russo / NBC New York

Two people are dead, 18 are hurt and others are missing after two buildings collapsed following a gas leak explosion that rattled upper Manhattan and shattered windows with a blast that could be felt blocks away, officials said.

The two five-story buildings at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem collapsed at about 9:30 a.m., authorities said. Smoke billowed into Central Park and could be seen from miles away in midtown, and New Yorkers said they felt rumbles as far away as 150th Street. Closer to the collapse, groceries were knocked from store shelves and debris floated through the air.

Mayor de Blasio said the buildings are destroyed, and that first responders were digging through the rubble for victims.

The only indication of anything wrong before the explosion was a call to Con Edison from a nearby building, reporting a strong odor of gas just minutes before the blast, the mayor and the utility said. But it was too late.

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