CBS News – Two buildings have collapsed after an explosion Wednesday morning in East Harlem, CBS New York reports. So far, there are reports of 11 injuries. The New York City fire department says one of the injuries is serious.
It happened around 9 a.m. at a building on Park Avenue between 114th and 117th streets, the FDNY said. One of the buildings that collapsed had a piano repair shop with apartments above. The second building housed a church.
It’s unclear if anyone was inside the buildings at the time of the explosion. Officials believe the buildings were both 5 stories tall.
Video from the scene shows heavy smoke rising from the area as hundreds of firefighters battle the blaze. Debris and rubble could be seen scattered all over the area.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond said thick, black smoke was enveloping the area. Police on the scene could be wearing face masks, CBS 2’s Don Champion reports.
A man who was on the 15th floor of a building on 125th Street said he saw dark smoke billowing down several blocks.
“The building shook and then we looked to see what was happening. We saw a whole lot of smoke. A lot of smoke came out,” witness Samuel Paul told CBS 2. “There’s a lot of dark smoke still coming out. A lot of fire engines I saw going to 125th Street.”
“The smoke started to rise. It looked like something fell because it wasn’t like a fire. It just looked like debris smoke, similar to 9/11,” Paul added.
Metro-North said it happened in a building adjacent to the tracks. Service in and out of Grand Central Terminal is suspended until further notice.
The bomb squad is responding as a precaution.
Many took to Twitter and began posting pictures of smoke rising from the area.