The explosion in New York City has left up to 19 injured and two people missing. Four of the injured are in critical condition in NYC hospitals as officials attempt to identify the exact cause of the explosion on Thursday afternoon. The explosion destroyed the sushi restaurant, engulfing it and four nearby buildings in flames. According to CNN, a new gas meter had recently been installed and was inspected by Consolidated Edison inspectors an hour before the 3:17 p.m. explosion
“The meter ‘did not pass our inspection at that time, so it meant it wasn’t ready for gas to be introduced,’ Ivey said. There was a second gas service working at the same building, however.”
Drea de Matteo spoke for many of the 83 people in the area displaced by the explosion when she mourned the loss of her home of 22 years.
The 83 explosion victims have been taken to a nearby school, according to NYC Red Cross officials. There is no word yet on how long they will have to stay in the school.
The total of those missing in the explosion is not official until a thorough search of the building can take place, but the New York Times reports that NYC fire officials say the building is not yet safe for searchers to enter.
“Since the fire, at Second Avenue and East Seventh Street, was not officially considered under control, fire officials said they could not start to sift through the wreckage.”
For the families of the two who are known to be missing after the explosion, there is little hope, CNN reports.
“One of those missing is Nicholas Figueroa, who was at a sushi restaurant during the time of the explosion, according to the New York police sources.
“”We started calling everywhere,’ Neal Figueroa said, adding that the woman his brother had lunch with was at a hospital. ‘We went to every hospital…. He wasn’t there.'”
The second person missing was working as a busboy in the busy NYC sushi restaurant at the time of the explosion.
NYC blogger Vincent James Pia expresses what many New York City residents are feeling in the aftermath of the explosion.
“This just breaks my heart! My thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by this tragedy.
“All it takes is one brief moment for lives to be changed forever… for places to become an addition to your list of memories… for all that you know to become unknown.”
[Image source Robert Stolarik for The New York Times]