New York mayor Bill de Blasio arrived on the scene in Harlem where two buildings collapsed following an apparent gas explosion.
He spoke to the media about just what happened at 1644 Park Avenue earlier this morning, saying:
"There was a major explosion that destroyed two buildings. The explosion was based upon a gas leak. A heavy fire has ensued as well.”
More than 200 firefighters have been battling the blaze. The FDNY is reporting at least two casualties, both of them women.
Mayor de Blasio also touched upon how sudden this disaster happened, saying:
"This is a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication ahead of time to save people. From what we know now the only implication of danger came 15 minutes ahead of time."
Several people are believed to be unaccounted for still. Fire commissioner Salvatore Cassano explained that crews will begin clearing the sidewalk first, searching for anyone who was out on the street at the time of the explosion. Then efforts will move onto the lot itself.
de Blasio spoke on the brave efforts of firefighters as well, saying:
"I want to say that once again we have been show what our first responders are capable of doing under extreme circumstances.”
Stay tuned for further details.
[Image via Twitter.]
Tags: bill de blasio, building collapse, harlem, manhattan, new york, news, sad sad, tragedy