Just before 10 am this morning, a suspected gas explosion rocked New York City in the neighborhood of East Harlem. Around 9:13 a gas leak was reported to Con Edison, and representatives for company were on scene shortly after the report. Within 20 minutes, the leak was still not contained and somehow a spark ignited an explosion that rocked the neighborhood. The blast totally destroyed two buildings and as of this afternoon, at least 2 are dead and more than 20 people have been rushed to hospitals across the city.
Metro-North service, which provides rail service from NYC to Connecticut and other points north, has been suspended due to debris on the track and possible damage to the rails, which are elevated and located beside the blast scene. Windows were blown out in buildings in several blocks around the explosion and smoke continues to billow through the neighborhood.
The FDNY expects to remain on the scene for at least the next 24 hours to continue fighting the fire and getting all of the embers extinguished. Various media outlets are reporting that there are more than 250 members of the FDNY on scene as of 2 pm.
Residents have been evacuated and the NYPD continue to block access to a several block radius around the scene of the blast. Many, including NYPD officers on duty, can be seen wearing masks to help prevent inhaling smoke.
Hotspots will continue to stay on the scene and keep our readers posted as more details become available.