Death Toll Rises in New York City Building Explosion
(NEW YORK) -- The death toll in Wednesday’s suspected gas explosion and building collapse in New York City has risen to seven, with four additional victims found early Thursday morning. Investigators found the bodies of two adult males and one adult female Thursday morning, ABC News has confirmed. The fourth body was discovered at 7:10 a.m.
Several people are reported missing and have not yet been found, New York City Fire Department officials said.
Two of the victims have been identified so far -- Griselde Camacho, who worked as a public safety officer at Hunter College, and Carmen Tanco, 67.
More than 60 others were injured in the incident, which happened at 9:30 a.m. in the building at 116th Street and Park Avenue.
Con Edison was responding to a report of a gas odor when the explosion happened.
“This is a tragedy of the worse kind because there was no indication in time to save people,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The FBI responded to the incident, but there is no indication of terror or crime, authorities said.
Google images of the building show two commercial storefronts on the ground floor with four floors of residential apartments above those storefronts.
“I was standing in my room when I heard the explosion and the building shook at the same time," said Rosario Valderdo, who lives in the apartment building next door. “The windows were shattered and I grabbed my dog and went outside. The building had collapsed and there were people underneath it and they were trying to take them away from there.”
Neighbors said shattered glass from nearby storefronts and debris littered the ground following the blast.
“The explosion woke me up. The building shook, my mother’s window fell in,” said neighbor Adam Ocasio. “You could see the smoke and debris as soon as you got outside.”
Brandon Whitaker was also sleeping in his home in the nearby Taft Houses when he was awoken with a start.
“My room shook, I was disoriented,” Whitaker said. “Feels like an earthquake right in your room, an earthquake and a car crash right in your room, that’s loud and abrasive. It was shaking, and I thought the Metro-North [train] had crashed.”
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