Gas Leak Blamed in Harlem Blast That Killed 2
Toll mounts as 2 buildings collapse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 12, 2014 9:27 AM CDT
Updated Mar 12, 2014 11:42 AM CDT
In this image taken from video from WABC, firefighters battle the fire in East Harlem.   (AP Photo/WABC-TV)

(Newser) – Two people are now dead after an explosion brought down two apartment buildings in East Harlem this morning, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is confirming that a gas leak is to blame. At least 18 more are injured. A utility company says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion at 1644-1646 Park Ave. Con Ed dispatched two crews about 9:15am, but they got there too late. What's worse, the toll could rise: “This is an occupied building," a city official tells the New York Times. "There were people living there; we have people missing."