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Gas blast destroys 2 NY buildings; 5 people dead

/ 03:55 PM March 13, 2014

NEW YORK — A fifth person has been confirmed killed by an explosion that flattened two New York City apartment buildings.

Police Sgt. John Buthorn says the body of an adult female was found among the debris around 2:50 a.m. Thursday. He says the number of people unaccounted for is about five.

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Alecia Thomas, left, is comforted by her friend Shivon Dollar, center, after she lost her home following an explosion that leveled two apartment buildings in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. The blast happened after a neighbor reported smelling natural gas. The woman on the right is unidentified. AP

A gas leak triggered the explosion Wednesday morning on the two five-story East Harlem buildings. The blast also injured more than 60 people. At least three of the injured were children.

The explosion shattered windows a block away, cast a plume of smoke over the skyline and sent people running into the streets.

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Authorities say the fiery blast erupted about 9:30 a.m., about 15 minutes after a neighboring resident reported smelling gas.

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TAGS: Accident, blast, Explosion, gas, Gas Leak, New York
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