Massive Explosion in East Harlem Shakes Morning Commute
Photo: Adnan Islam via Twitter
Just moments ago, a loud explosion got many East Harlem residents and commuters taking to Twitter to ask “What the hell was that?!” Our own Alyssa Alimurung, who lives in the area, described it as a “loud boom and smoke” and others are reporting that two buildings have collapsed on 116th Street and Park Avenue. There is no word yet on the cause of the collapse. If you have any information, please let us know in the comments below.
Additional updates below.
A video of the smoke taken by Instagram user lovcole
Update as of 9:49am: According to an NYPD officer, ConEd crews were trying to shut off gas in the area to stave off additional explosions. (ANIMALNewYork)
Update as of 10:15am: Metro North service in the area has been suspended. FDNY is reporting 11 minor injuries. (NY1 News)
Update as of 10:17am: Con Edison was responding to a report of a gas odor in the area just before the explosion occurred. (Con Edison)
Update as of 10:25am: 4, 5 and 6 trains operating on slow speed order in the East Harlem area. (NYCT Subway Service)
Update as of 11:17am: At least one person has died in the collapse, according to authorities. (The New York Times)
Update as of 11:20am: 20 people have been reported as hurt in the incident, which is now being said to have affected 2 separate buildings. (NBC New York)
Update as of 11:48am: NYPD confirms 2 dead in the disaster. (NY Times reporter Michael Schwirtz)
Update as of 12:03pm: MTA released service change plans for Metro-North Railroad customers traveling to and from New York City today:
Metro-North Railroad customers traveling to New York City will be taken to stations in the Bronx where they can transfer to the subway for travel to Manhattan. Customers wishing to travel north today out of Grand Central Terminal should take the New York City Subway, which will cross honor Metro-North tickets.
The following service plan will remain in effect
through 3 p.m. today, March 12, 2014.until further notice.
Harlem Line & New Haven Line
Southbound customers from the New Haven Line and Harlem Line will get off at the Harlem Line stations or Wakefield or Woodlawn for a short walk to the No. 2 for service to Manhattan. Customers can transfer to the No. 5 at E. 180thStreet for East Side destinations.
Northbound customers for all Harlem and New Haven Line stations should take the No. 5 subway to East 180th Street and transfer to the No. 2 subway north to the 233rd Street Station, where they can walk a short distance to the Metro-North’s Woodlawn Station.
Hudson Line customers should take the No. 4 to 161st Street Station (Yankee Stadium) and walk west to Metro-North’s Yankees – East 153rd Street station for service to points north. The D subway also goes to 161st Street.
Southbound Hudson Line customers will go to Yankees-East 153rd Street and transfer to the No. 4 or D subways, or to Marble Hill and transfer to the No. 1 subway at 225th Street, an elevated station.
There are no stranded trains. Power has been cut to the third rail to all 4 tracks in the neighborhood of the explosion. Metro-North urges customers to consider limiting travel today if they can. (MTA Press Office)
Update as of 4:43PM: All Metro-North service to and from Grand Central has been restored.
Photos: Alyssa Alimurung except where noted.
Update as of 12:30pm: The cause of the explosion was likely a gas leak – it was not an act of terrorism. (Press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio)
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