Latest on NY fire, building collapse: No gas odors reported

AP News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2015 8:57 PM
Latest on NY fire, building collapse: No gas odors reported

8:45 P.M.

No gas odors were reported and no leaks were found before an apparent gas explosion that leveled a New York City apartment building.

Utility Con Edison says a survey of the gas mains in the area was done Wednesday and nothing was found. The explosion was Thursday.

Officials say the explosion happened amid plumbing and gas work inside the building. The explosion and fire partially destroyed another building. At least a dozen people were injured as rubble and glass went flying.

Con Ed says it had inspected the work being done earlier on Thursday and it failed inspection.

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7:30 P.M.

The Fire Department of New York says four people are in critical condition among a dozen injured in an explosion, building collapse and fire in Manhattan's East Village.

Officials initially said three were critically hurt in Thursday's blast. Firefighter Ed Long says the tally is up to four.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame. He says plumbing and gas work appear to have sparked the problem inside one building.

That building collapsed. A second building partially collapsed. The fire and blast ultimately affected four buildings near New York University and Washington Square Park.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NEYE'-groh) has said a third building is in danger of collapse.

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6:45 P.M.

The American Red Cross is helping people displaced by an explosion, building collapse and fire in Manhattan's East Village.

The regional CEO for the aid organization's New York chapter says one family so far has come into a relief center set up at a nearby school after Thursday's blast.

The official, Josh Lockwood, says some 49 apartments were in the several buildings that have been affected.

The city's fire commissioner has said four buildings were involved in the collapse and fire. At least a dozen people have been injured, three critically.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame.

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6:20 P.M.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) says state regulators will investigate the cause of an explosion, fire and building collapse in Manhattan.

Cuomo says state Department of Public Service workers are at the scene of Thursday's blast near New York University, monitoring utility Con Edison's response.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame for the collapse and massive fire in the trendy East Village. At least a dozen people have been injured, three critically.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro (NEYE'-groh) says a second building is in danger of collapse and four buildings have been affected in all.

Cuomo is thanking first responders and says his thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the explosion and collapse.

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6 P.M.

New York City utility Con Edison says its inspectors visited a Manhattan building about an hour before a fire and collapse officials say may have been caused by a gas-related explosion.

Con Ed President Craig Ivey says the crews were there to evaluate a planned installation of a second meter in a now-collapsed building where construction was going on Thursday. He says the meter didn't pass the inspection, meaning it wasn't ready for gas to be introduced.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says there's no indication anyone called to report a possible gas leak.

At least a dozen people were hurt, three critically. Firefighters say two people have burns to their airways and a third was unconscious.

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5:50 P.M.

New York City's mayor says there are no reports of people missing following a fire and building collapse that injured at least a dozen people.

The fire department commissioner says about 250 firefighters are on the scene in Manhattan's trendy East Village near New York University. He says a second building is "in danger of possible collapse."

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame.

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5:40 P.M.

New York City's mayor says preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion is to blame for a fire and building collapse in Manhattan.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says the initial impact appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work inside one building, which then partially collapsed in a fire and blast that ultimately affected four buildings near New York University and Washington Square Park.

At least a dozen people were injured Thursday. The mayor says his thoughts and prayers are with every one of them and their families.

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5:30 P.M.

Smoke from a fire and building collapse in Manhattan's East Village can be seen and smelled for miles as more than 100 firefighters try to quell the blaze.

The Fire Department of New York says at least 12 people have been hurt, three critically. The smoke from the blaze has spread from the downtown New York University area to midtown Manhattan, where office workers can smell it inside their buildings.

Investigators are looking into whether there was a gas leak. A spokesman for utility Con Edison says crews are at the scene and will start their investigation after firefighters get the blaze under control.

Local resident Paul Schoengold says he was walking two blocks away when he heard an "incredibly loud" roar.

Soon, he saw flames shooting up as much as 50 feet from the roof.

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4:45 P.M.

Firefighters say a building on fire in New York City has collapsed and several people have been injured.

Orange flames and black smoke are billowing from the facade and roof of the five-story building in Manhattan, near New York University and the Washington Square Park area.

There are some reports of an explosion before the fire. The area is being evacuated.

The Fire Department of New York says at least 12 people have been hurt and other people are being evaluated at the scene.

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4:25 P.M.

Firefighters say a building on fire in New York City has collapsed and at least two people have been critically injured.

Orange flames and black smoke are billowing from the facade and roof of the five-story building in Manhattan, near New York University and the Washington Square Park area.

There are some reports of an explosion before the fire. The area is being evacuated.

The Fire Department of New York says other people are being evaluated at the scene.

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4 p.m.

New York City firefighters are at the scene of a large fire and a partial building collapse in Manhattan.

The Fire Department of New York says it has no immediate reports of injuries.

Orange flames and black smoke are billowing from the facade and roof of the five-story building near Second Avenue and Seventh Street.

At least part of the building has collapsed.

There were some reports of an explosion before the fire. The area is being evacuated.

Further details are not immediately available