New York Gas Leak Explosion Kills 2
A massive explosion occurred off of Park Avenue and 116th, in East Harlem, New York due to what was believed to be a gas leak.
The explosion killed at least three people, injured 60 and has left at least nine missing.
About the New York Building Explosion
“This is a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people.We have lost two people already.” – Mayor Bill de Blasio as published by USA Today
A suspected gas leak triggered an explosion that destroyed two apartment buildings – the blast erupted around 9:30 am on Wednesday,15 minutes after residents reported a suspicious smell.
The explosion shattered windows, rained debris, and cast a plume of smoke in the sky scaring neighbors. Two women were reported to be dead and another nine are unaccounted for.
Hunter College identified one of the victims to be Griselde Camacho, a security guard who worked at the Silberman School of Social Work building.
Authorities Investigate Cause of the Explosion
Some 200 firefighters worked to control the fire that followed the blast. One of the buildings, completely flattened by the blast, housed a Spanish Christian Church and a piano repair shop on Park Avenue between 114th and 116th street.
The Fire Department reported that there had been no records of past reports of gas odors or leaks.
Con Edison is the utility company in place for the destroyed buildings. Con Edison said it remains to be seen whether the leak was in a company main or installed inside plumbing.
The gas main that serves the area was made of plastic and cast iron, and the iron dated to 1887. A NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) team arrived to investigate the accident, and investigators will be looking into how Con Edison handles reports of gas odors and issues with the pipe, and they will be constructing a timeline of events.