Harlem explosion death toll rises to eight

An eighth victim is pulled out from the remains of the collapsed buildings in East Harlem, officials say.

An eighth victim is pulled out from the remains of the collapsed buildings in East Harlem, officials say.

NEW YORK – At least eight people have now died and 70 others injured in a suspected gas explosion which destroyed two buildings in East Harlem, New York.

The New York City Fire Department has said it is still searching through the rubble for several missing people.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who described Wednesday’s blast as ‘’a tragedy of the worst kind,’’ said preliminary reports indicate the warning of a gas leak came just 15 minutes before the explosion, which occurred at around 9:30 a.m.

Gas supplier Consolidated Edison confirmed it received a call at around 9:13 am concerning a gas leak and dispatched two crews at around 9:15 am. However, "the explosion occurred before that team could arrive," De Blasio said.

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