(Credit: Ben Lim/iReport via CNN)
Update 3-13-2014 from AP
Four more bodies were recovered overnight (bringing the death toll to seven) from the wreckage of two Manhattan buildings destroyed by a gas explosion that left more than 70 people injured and left multiple city blocks strewn with rubble.
The force of the blast was so strong that it registered on the Richter scale at just under .5, according to Columbia University. Smoke columns could be seen miles away in any direction. In order to excavate as fast as possible, a backhoe and bulldozer were brought in and were used to dig through wreckage looking for potentially buried victims on Thursday as firefighters battled flareups in the wreckage.
An apartment building in NYC has exploded in towering flames and thick black smoke, followed directly by the collapse of at least one building and 11 confirmed injuries. Responders from the NYC fire department says most injuries are non-threatening, save for one.
ABC says residents heard a large explosion near Park Avenue and 116th Street in East Harlem around 9 a.mEST this (Wed) morning. One five-story building can be seen reduced as what looks to be rubble, and a second building also sustained damages.
TV news cameras caught pillars of billowing smoke and firefighters continue to actively douse the site from overhead. Rubble can be seen strewn across parked vehicles and the surrounding blocks.
The site is next to Metro-North commuter railroad tracks. Train service was halted to and from Grand Central Terminal.
Firefighters fight the blaze from fireladders (Photo by CBS)