Two Die In East Harlem Building Explosion; 23 Reported Hurt; More Possible

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Mayor de Blasio at the scene. Pic: NY1 News

The cause of a massive explosion and double building collapse in East Harlem Wednesday morning that left two people dead and nearly two dozen others injured remains unclear as first responders search through the debris for more possible victims.

The incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on East 116th Street and Park Avenue. More than 250 firefighters were called to the scene.

The two five-story residential buildings, located at 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue, also housed the Spanish Christian Church and piano repair shop on the ground level.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says first responders will be conducting searches for more possible victims as soon as the fire is brought under control.

The mayor also reiterated the number of those unaccounted for will be fluid throughout the day.

"We don't want to speculate on the number of people who might be in the building and their situation until we have the ability to get closer and deal with that rubble," De Blasio said. "I want to be very careful. We're saying there's a number of unaccounted for people. Some may well be safe and sound elsewhere in the city and just aren't reachable. God forbid there are some in that building. It'll take some time to get in there and know for sure."

If you are concerned about the welfare of someone who may have been affected by the collapse and are unable to contact them, please call 311.From outside of NYC, call (212) 639-9675.

For more please see NY1 Live Coverage


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