On March 12,2014, At about 9:15 am, residents at 1646 Park Ave in East Harlem smelled a strong odor of natural gas. Con Edison dispatched 2 work crews to the location. Prior to thier arrival, at Appox. 9:30 am, two 5 story apartment houses suddenly exploded and collapsed. Killing at least 7 persons and injuring more than 65 people, some seriously. Upon arrival the FDNY transmitted a 10-60 and shorty thereafter a 3rd alarm for a major emergency. The two 5 story apartment houses were completly collapsed and a heavy fire condition existed in the rubble of the collapse. Two tower ladders were set up in front of the collapsed buildings and two more tower ladders were set up in the exposure 2 side of the building on E 116 street. Also, numerous handlines were stretched into the surrounding buildings. Two handlines were stretched up onto the roof of exposure 3 and a handline was stretched onto the exposure 3 roof. Five Alarms plus numerous special calls were called to the scene. At this time there are still a few persons who are still unaccounted for. Operations are continuing.

Firefighters are searching the rubble for any survivers while Con Ed is still trying to shut off the gas in the area. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Tons of debris fell in front of the buildings. Photo taken on 3-12-13.

Hand to hand debris removal is taking place while the fire was still burning. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

This view from the exposure 2 roof shows firefighters using a handline to knock down some of the fire so search and rescue operations can continue. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

The bucket brigade reminded me of 9/11/01. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Firefighters are moving collapsed beams away from the front of the building. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

An FDNY tractor is removing debris away from the building. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Two handlines are operating from the roof of exposure 3. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Two tower ladders are operating from over the exposure 2 side of the building . Photo taken on 3-12-14.

The view fron of the collapsed buildings. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

The view from the roof of exposure 4. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

The Smoke condition continues to cover the neighborhood. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

An overhead view of the selected debris removal operation. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Tower ladder 13 is operating on the burning debris. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Debris could be seen on the roof of exposure 2 Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Tower ladders continue to pour water on the burning debris. Photo taken on 3-12-14.

Con Edison is digging on both sides of the block, trying to find the source of the gas leak . Photo taken on 3-12-16.

This is what the two 5 story buildings looked like before the collapse.

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