At least seven confirmed dead, building collapse investigated
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 01:41
March 13 - New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirms seven people have died after two buildings collapsed on Wednesday in Upper Manhattan, as search and rescue operations continue at the scene. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
**RESENDING SCRIPT WITH CORRECTED QUOTE**
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
Search crews picked through still-smoldering rubble on Thursday (March 13), looking for survivors of a gas explosion that caused the collapse of two New York apartment buildings a day earlier, killing seven people and injuring about 60.
"Tragically there are now 7 people confirmed dead, said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio during a press conference. "Approximately 40 people have been treated and transported by EMS to nearby hospitals."
Facing thick smoke and bitter cold, dozens of firefighters, police officers and a team from the National Transportation Safety Board were at the Upper Manhattan scene to determine what had caused the explosion on Wednesday, shortly after a resident nearby had called the utility, Con Edison, to complain about the smell of gas. The safety board investigates accidents involving natural gas.
During the press conference, a Con Edison representative said there were no reports of a gas leak - in the last three years - prior to Wednesday.
"A lot of people have been displaced," de Blasio said. "A lot of surrounding buildings affected. We've vacated 89 residential units and three businesses in seven surrounding buildings due to the ongoing fire operations and because gas and heat are not operating for those buildings."
The debris continued to flare up at times as rescuers clawed through the wreckage of the adjoining buildings that had housed 15 apartments on a largely residential block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue.
Passersby wore dust masks or wrapped their faces in winter scarves to limit inhalation of dust and smoke.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code