A gas leak was responsible for a major explosion that destroyed two buildings in New York's East Harlem neighborhood on Wednesday, sparking a serious fire and killing two, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
A senior city officials reported two fatalities, both female, and said more dead are a possibility.
Another adjacent building collapsed, CBS News reported. One of the two collapsed building housed a Spanish-Christian church while the other contained a piano repair shop.
CBS also reported 18 minor injuries so far.
The blast reportedly occurred at 9:30am, when the Fire Department received a first report.
Videos showed thick smoke plumes rising from the building and fire fighting units dispatched to the scene. Debris and rubble have covered the entire city.
In a frenzy, New Yorkers who had relatives in the area rushed to the neighbourhood to check up on their families and friends after feeling own buildings shake, they said.
According to NYT, Con Edison, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States, received a call from a woman who said she smelled gas.
Evacuations have also been made in the surrounding area. The Metro-North Railroad service in and out of Grand Central Terminal was also suspended.
More to follow