Today’s NYC building collapse is believed to be caused by gas works being carried out to update the city’s antiquated gas main system. According to NBC News, 19 people have been injured, four of them critically. Some of the injured suffered burns to their airways, while others received glass and shrapnel wounds as a result of the explosion. Of the 19 injured, five were service members, according to the FDNY.
250 firefighters rushed to the scene of the explosion. Witnesses say the explosion that caused the NYC building collapse was completely unexpected. While it came as a surprise, the response of witnesses rushing in to help was not
“Everything, my shelf in my office and my computer screen fell down. They say it was a gas leak. I saw a lot of people lined up at the streets trying to help.” Luca Babini, who was in his office less than a block away when the NYC building collapse told CNN.
Other witnesses have reported flames from the fire as high as 50 feet and people leaving shoes behind in their panic to flee from the inferno.
Recent upgrades to New York’s gas supply system were initiated after a fire in East Harlem a year ago killed eight people and injured approximately 50 others. New York’s gas mains system includes pipes that are 127 years old.
Although it has been reported recently that it wasn’t the older pipes that caused the explosion in East Harlem, only time will tell if this is also the case with the recent NYC building collapse. It was estimated then that it would cost approximately $47.3 billion to complete the upgrade.
This time, even though no gas leak was reported, a strong gas odor has been reported by witnesses moments before the explosion that resulted in the NYC building collapse. Four buildings have been damaged as a result.
According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYC building collapse was caused by an initial explosion in a building on Second Avenue in Manhattan’s East Village. As a result of this, one building has partially collapsed and has also caused the complete collapse of another. In total, four buildings have been damaged, with three of those completely destroyed.
According to the FDNY Twitter account, emergency workers are still battling the blaze that caused the NYC building collapse.
— FDNY (@FDNY) March 27, 2015
Until the fire is completely contained, New York’s health department have advised residents to close all their doors and windows and stay inside as much as possible to avoid dangerous fumes from the smoke from the fire that caused the devastating NYC building collapse.
Where you there when the NYC building collapse occurred? Do you have any images or thoughts you would like to share with us about this incident? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image and video credited to FDNY]