UPDATE: Seventh person confirmed dead after NYC building explosi - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Seventh person confirmed dead after NYC building explosion

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- A seventh person has been confirmed dead after an explosion flattened two buildings in New York City.

Nine people are still missing and more than 60 others hurt, including children.

Authorities think a gas leak is to blame, but they haven't determined an official cause yet. People who lived in the building say they smelled gas moments before the explosion.

"We've had the smell before," Sarah Borreo,  a resident of the building said. "Don't get me wrong if you smell gas you should do something, but I didn't take it that serious because it wasn't that bad."

Two of the victims have been identified as Griselde Camacho and Carmen Tanco.

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- A fourth person has been confirmed dead after an explosion flattened two buildings in New York City.

Nine people are still missing and more than 60 others hurt, including children.

Authorities think a gas leak is to blame, but they haven't determined an official cause yet. People who lived in the building say they smelled gas moments before the explosion.

"We've had the smell before," Sarah Borreo,  a resident of the building said. "Don't get me wrong if you smell gas you should do something, but I didn't take it that serious because it wasn't that bad."

Two of the victims have been identified as Griselde Camacho and Carmen Tanco. Authorities say the most recent victim, an adult male, was pulled from the ruble just after midnight Thursday.

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Three people are now confirmed dead and 9 others are still missing after a gas explosion flattened two buildings in New York City.

More than 60 people were hurt.

Investigators say 15 minutes before the explosion, residents of one of the apartment buildings reported smelling gas.

The explosion sent debris flying and shattered windows in buildings blocks away from the site.

Federal investigators are now on scene to determine the official cause.


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UPDATE (WKOW) --- Two people are dead and at least 64 injured after a suspected gas explosion tore through a building in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood.

Part of the structure actually collapsed, according to authorities.

"This is a tragedy of the worse kind because there was no indication in time to save people," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "There will be a search through the rubble of the building once the fire has been put out."

Crews have been fighting the fire all day and have not been able to search the piles of rubble.

There are dozens of people unaccounted for.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A resident of a New York City apartment building that was flattened by an explosion says the smell of gas was "unbearable" and residents complained about it repeatedly.
   Ruben Borrero says residents complained to the landlord about the smell as recently as Tuesday, a day before the explosion.
   He says a few weeks ago, city fire officials were called about the smell because it was so bad that a resident on the top floor busted open the door to the roof for ventilation.
   The explosion leveled two buildings, killed at least two people and injured more than 20. More than a dozen are still unaccounted for.
   Borrero lived on the second floor with his mother and sister. None of them were at home at the time of the explosion, but he assumes his terrier is dead.
   Con Edison says it received no gas complaints from the building before Wednesday.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says people are still missing after an explosion leveled two apartment buildings, killing two people and injuring 18 others.
   De Blasio says: "There are a number of missing individuals." He suggests some may have fled to safety and says the city is expending every effort to locate the people who are still unaccounted for.
   The mayor urged worried relatives to call 311. A hotline was being set up.
   The mayor says Con Edison is shutting down all gas mains going into the building.
   He says a gas leak was reported to the utility 15 minutes before the explosion. The explosion occurred before the Con Edison team arrived.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A man who works in a nearby building says today's explosion that leveled two New York City apartment buildings felt like an earthquake.
   Waldemar Infante, who was working in the basement of the neighboring building when the explosion took place, says, "There were glass shards everywhere on the ground and all the stores had their windows blown out."
   The explosion left at least two people dead and injured 17 others. It happened after a neighbor reported smelling natural gas.
   Con Edison says the person who reported the gas smell said he thought the odor could be coming from outside. A spokesman says the utility dispatched two crews, but they arrived just after the explosion.
   The East Harlem neighborhood was at a standstill as police set up barricades to keep residents away from the ruins of the five-story buildings. Thick, acrid smoke filled the air, watering people's eyes. Some wore surgical masks while others held their hands or scarves over their faces.
   A resident of one of the destroyed buildings says he heard news of the blast and hurried back from his job. He says he found "nothing left" -- just "a bunch of bricks and wood."
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UPDATE (WKOW) --- New York City Police say two people are dead and 17 injured after the building collapse in New York City.

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- CNN is reporting that a possible gas leak was reported just before the explosion in New York City.

The fire has been upgraded to a 5-alarm fire.

CNN also reports two buildings have collapsed.   Crews are working on putting the fire out now.

WATCH it live at the link to the left.

We will continue to update this story.

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NEW YORK, NY (WKOW) -- New York City firefighters are responding to a building collapse in East Harlem.

Residents in the area reported hearing a large explosion at an apartment building around 9:00 Wednesday morning.  The building is five stories high and has now been reduced to rubble.

CNN reports there is a 5-alarm fire at the collapsed building.  Multiple other buildings are reportedly damaged as well.  The fire department reports 11 minor injuries at this time.

A law enforcement source states the NYC Bomb Squad is headed to the scene.

The site is adjacent to commuter railroad tracks, not far from the northeastern tip of Central Park.  Service on the tracks has been halted to and from Grand Central Terminal. 

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