Two women were killed and 16 were injured after an explosion in an apartment in New York, reports the BBC on March 12, 2014.
The incident took place in a residential building at Park Avenue, 116th street, East Harlem.
The five-storey building is reported to have collapsed which could have led to many people caught under the debris.
Whether there is any terror angle to this tragedy is to be ascertained. There is a report in the New York Daily News that a resident had smelled gas for weeks before this incident.
The blast took place near railways tracks of the Grand Central Terminal has resulted in suspension of all train services by Metro North until further notice.
Media is reporting that the first call about the explosion came at 9:34 a.m. (13:34 GMT). AFP reports that 168 firefighters and 39 different units are on the rescue duty.
Another neighboring building was also significantly damaged while the six-story building was reduced to rubble.
Fear is that many more people may have been caught under the debris. So far 16 people have been rescued and are believed to have sustained only minor injuries.
The air near the explosion site was filled up with huge flames and billowing smoke which reminded people of the 9/11 Twin Tower blasts.
Although the reason for the explosion is more than likely to be because of gas leakage, the New York Police Department has its bomb squad at the site. The FBI is also reported to have arrived at the scene to look into a possible terror angle.