New York building explodes, collapses

March 12, 2014
1 Comments

NEW YORK – A residential building in New York’s East Harlem neighborhood exploded and collapsed on Wednesday, sparking a serious fire and engulfing the area in thick smoke, officials said.

Local TV stations reported that 11 people had sustained minor injuries in the incident at 116th Street and Park Avenue.

All train services in and out of Grand Central terminal were suspended as a result of the incident next to its tracks.

TV footage showed debris strewn across the street and smoke pouring out of the collapsed building.

“It was an explosion and a building collapsed,” a spokesman for New York Police Department told AFP, giving no further details. Scores of firefighters have been dispatched to the scene.

“The call came at 9:34 am (1334 GMT). It is a residential building. The New York Fire Department is in the process of extinguishing the fire,” another police spokesman added.

The New York Fire Department told AFP that 168 fire fighters and 39 different units had responded to the explosion.

A witness told CBS that “a lot of people” lived in the six-storey building, including one of her friends.

“I’m scared, I’m scared. I came out to see the situation,” she told the channel from behind the security cordon at the scene.

“I’m very scared. I’m shaking. I’m asthmatic and I’m not supposed to be here. I just came,” she added.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP
Reports of an explosion were heard before the collapse of two multiple-dwelling buildings that left at least 11 injured in New York City on Wednesday morning. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

Another witness who lived across the street told the channel he saw the building on fire and that his relatives living further way also felt the blast.

“I saw a lady running with no shoes on. It was crazy. It was like a war zone,” he said.

“First of all I thought it was an earthquake. I got calls from my family who felt it too and that was all the way up town. Man, it was crazy,” he added.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced it had suspended all train service in and out of Grand Central Terminal until further notice due to the explosion next to its tracks.

“Please listen for announcements at your station and check back here for updates/alternate service information,” said an emergency notice published on its website.

You may be interested

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos
Events
71 views
Events
71 views

Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in Quepos

Elizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017

The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
2382 views
Weather
2382 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2559 views
Environment and Wildlife
2559 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…