Explosion in Harlem Kills Two, Injures 17

Black smoke billows over the Upper West side as police rush to determine whether the explosion was a gas leak.

Tova Dvorin,

Illustration: New York
Illustration: New York
Eliran Aharon

Two buildings collapsed, killing two people and injuring 17 more, after a massive explosion in the center of Harlem Wednesday.

Black smoke is emanating from the neighborhood and hundreds of firefighters and police forces have rushed to the scene. 

The New York City Police Department confirmed to Reuters that the exact cause of the blast is still uncertain. "The cause of the explosion is undetermined at this time," said police spokesman Martin Speechley to the news outlet. 

A Con-Ed official told CNN that reports of a gas leak had been filed at 9:13 AM, less than fifteen minutes before the explosion occurred. The blast was so massive that it shattered windows and reduced two buildings to rubble, eyewitnesses say.