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Debris cleared from New York buildings' collapse; Focus on gas lines

Published on Mar 16, 2014 8:16 AM
Firefighters remove debris from the smoking site of an explosion in East Harlem in New York City on March 13, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - New York City emergency crews have cleared the majority of debris from the site where two apartment buildings collapsed in a gas explosion and are nearing the underground area where the gas lines are located, officials said on Saturday.

Eight people - five women and three men - were killed in the explosion early on Wednesday in East Harlem, while dozens more were injured. The collapse of the five-storey buildings could be felt up to 1.6km away.

Crews made "significant headway clearing the site" on Saturday and were helped by mild weather, New York City Fire Department spokesman Michael Parrella said.

Investigators were also steadily making progress getting to the underground area where the buildings' gas lines and meters are located. The area could provide evidence as to what caused the explosion.

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