At approximately 9:30am this morning (March 12), an explosion occurred near 116th St. and Park Ave. in East Harlem, New York. Reportedly two residential buildings were leveled after the blast and at the time of this report 24 people have been injured and at least two are dead. According to authorities, at least 12 people are missing.
Reports DNA Info:
It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were injured in the blast, which occurred at roughly 9:30 a.m. at 1646 Park Ave., near East 116th Street, according to the FDNY. The building contained residential units and a piano shop, Absolute Piano, at its base, records show.
A man walking into the building get knocked to the ground by the force of the explosion, according to Anthony Ferguson, who was standing on a nearby corner on his way to buy a ham sandwich.
“The first thing I heard was a boom. The next thing I saw was the smoke,” Ferguson said. “Then I saw bricks raining down on the church.”
Spanish Christian Church is next door to where the blast occurred.
Workers from the Department of Buildings and Con Edison were on their way to the scene, officials said.
Reportedly someone in adjacent building notified authorities that they smelled gas shortly before the explosion. The New York Times reports that at least two people are dead. A full search of the debris cannot be made until all the flames are extinguished.
Images of the area are pouring in via social media sites like Twitter and Instagram (see photos in gallery).
UPDATED: 3-12-14 @ 3:10pm
Photos: Instagram, Twitter