Based on reports regarding the New York City explosion that occurred on Saturday, one person has been killed, and 8 others have suffered injuries. The blast, which happened in Brooklyn at around 1 p.m., also resulted in the partial collapse of a three-story building.
More than 200 firefighters were called to the scene of the incident, at 4206 13th Avenue, in Borough Park. An unidentified woman, approximately 60 years of age, was found dead in the building’s stairwell, and other people who were in the area have been injured by debris from the blast.
It appears that 2 men and a 10-year old boy were the most affected, because they were in front of the building when the explosion took place, and the entire facade was blown into the street. One of the men suffered minor leg injuries, the boy also hurt his leg, while the other man has sustained fractures to his leg and ankle.
One patient is in critical condition, but all three are expected to make a full recovery, since their wounds aren’t considered life-threatening. 5 firefighters who had been trying to suppress the fire have also suffered minor injuries, which required medical attention.
“A very tough situation, but the response from the FDNY and the other first responders has been extraordinary”, declared New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Mayor also suggested that the predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood may have suffered even greater damage had the accident happened on a different day. Since it was Sabbath, there were few pedestrians in the area, and the level of human loss wasn’t as high as it could’ve been.
From early information collected by Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, it appears that the incident occurred at the second floor and was caused by a stove, which the owner had tried to dissemble.
The expensive kitchen appliance had been bought by a tenant who has planning to move from the building, and as a result an attempt was made to disconnect the oven from the gas line. Therefore, gas may have leaked, causing the blast which affected the apartments and a shop at the ground floor.
As witnesses have revealed, the first sign that something was amiss was the fact that the floor began to shake violently, as if an earthquake was happening, and then a great blast followed.
The neighbors then quickly grabbed their most prized possessions and scampered out of their homes. However, one of the building occupants remains unaccounted for.
According to the mayor, an investigation will be conducted by the State Department of Public Service in order to determine with certainty the actual cause of the explosion. First however, authorities have to ensure that the surrounding buildings and the place of the incident are safe.
Although the fire has been contained, the Office of Emergency Management is urging people to avoid the area for now, until everything is kept under control, especially since two other buildings have also been affected by the fire.
It has been reported that experts from the Department of Buildings will be arriving soon, in order to quantify the damages caused by the blast.
Image Source: Reuters