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At least 6 dead in rising death toll in New York buildings collapse

Published on Mar 13, 2014 4:27 PM

NEW YORK (AFP) - A major explosion caused by a gas leak flattened two Manhattan apartment buildings in a fireball on Wednesday, killing at least six people and injuring scores of others.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident "a tragedy of the worst kind" because the smell of gas was detected "but there was no indication in time to save people". His office said nine residents from the two collapsed buildings were still unaccounted as night fell.

The death toll was described as likely to rise.

Firefighters battled throughout the afternoon to extinguish the heavy fire in East Harlem, where witnesses compared the scene of twisted metal, thick white smoke and dusty rubble to a war zone.

Click here to see before-and-after shots of the incident 

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