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NYC explosion, 2 buildings collapse: At least 7 dead, dozens injured

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UPDATE (3/13/2014, 10 A.M.): Death toll rises to at least 7 persons.

An explosion and collapse of two buildings in New York City occurred on Wednesday morning. Police and fire officials went to two buildings located at 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem, according to an ABC report on Wednesday.

Three persons are known dead, and dozens of persons have been injured with at least four of them in serious condition.

The explosion occurred at either 1644 or 1646 Park Avenue at approximately 9:30 a.m. Both buildings have collapsed down to the first floor. Following the explosion and collapse, smoke blanketed the area. Some of the surrounding buildings have also experienced damage from the blast. Debris was seen on sidewalks and elevated tracks near the burning buildings. Area residents were told to stay indoors and close their windows.

In excess of 200 firefighters from more than 40 departments have been working the scene.

Some residents have reported that they smelled gas for some time prior to the explosion. Officials say a call about a gas odor was received from a person in a neighboring building at 9:13. By the time officials arrived, the explosion had occurred.

(Updated at 10 p.m.)

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