The New York City explosion around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood has turned two buildings with commercial storefronts and 15 residential units into rubble. In CBS 6 live updates, Scott Wise reports on March 12 that “firefighters continue to dig through the debris for bodies and survivors after a gas explosion leveled two buildings on Park Avenue in New York City.”
In a previous update, Wise wrote that the the death toll has gone up from one person to two. The two people that have been found dead so far are female, according to a New York Police Department officer. The names of the two women have not been released at this time.
The number of injured is at 22 as of noon (PST). The NYC Fire Department reports that in addition to the two dead, two other people have life-threatening injuries, two have serious injuries, and at least 15 have minor injuries. Rescue teams with K9 units are still searching the rubble for more people who have been reported missing.
The New York City explosion occurred only a few minutes after Con Edison responded to a report of gas odor at 1652 Park Ave., which is being served by an 8-inch low-pressure gas main The call came in at 9:13 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., shortly before the Con Edison crews arrived at the scene, a loud explosion occurred, and the two buildings had collapsed and were engulfed in plumes of thick smoke. “I was standing in my room when I heard the explosion and the building shook at the same time," said one resident who lived in the apartment building next door. “The windows were shattered and I grabbed my dog and went outside. The building had collapsed and there were people underneath it and they were trying to take them away from there.”