BREAKING: Two buildings collapse after gas explosion in Harlem: sources
'We saw people flying out the window,' one witness said. The buildings were left in rubble on Park Ave. at East 116th St. At least 11 people were injured,
according to the Fire Department. Witnesses said the blaze began Wednesday morning in the Absolute Piano store.
Metro-North service was suspended in both directions as Mayor de Blasio went to the scene.
A loud explosion inside a five-story building on Park Ave. at E. 116th St. sent "people flying out the window,"
causing at least 11 minor injuries and leaving two buildings in rubble Wednesday morning, according to the Fire Department and witnesses.“For weeks we've been smelling gas," said Ashley Rivera, 21, holding back tears. "We saw people flying out of the window. ... Those are my neighbors."
A law enforcement source told the Daily News the cause appeared to be a gas explosion
. Mayor de Blasio was on his way to the scene.
Witness Michelle Jackson, 29, said she saw a badly burned 8-year-old boy being tended to by frantic pedestrians. She described a "loud bang" and "explosion."
A spokesman for the Fire Department said the first call regarding a possible explosion came at 9:31 a.m. He could not confirm reports of at least one person dead.
The fire began inside the Absolute Piano store at 1646 Park Ave. and was followed by the blast, witnesses told the Daily News.
The neighboring building at 1644 Park Ave. was also destroyed. Windows of neighboring storefronts were shattered.
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