Seventh body pulled from rubble of collapsed New York buildings

Smoke fills 116th street as a stretcher of paramedic equipment is wheeled near the site of an explosion in East Harlem, on March 13, 2014, in New York City. The death toll from an explosion that collapsed two New York apartment buildings after an app
Smoke fills 116th street as a stretcher of paramedic equipment is wheeled near the site of an explosion in East Harlem, on March 13, 2014, in New York City. The death toll from an explosion that collapsed two New York apartment buildings after an apparent gas leak rose to seven on Thursday, and the number of injured is close to 60, police said. -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The death toll from an explosion that collapsed two New York apartment buildings after an apparent gas leak rose to seven on Thursday, and the number of injured is close to 60, police said.

New York City Police Detective Marc Nell said a seventh victim of Wednesday’s blast was pulled from the buildings’rubble, adding that no one had died at a hospital.

A search continued for survivors and trapped bodies among the still-smoking rubble of two adjoining buildings that housed 15 apartments on a largely residential Upper Manhattan block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates accidents involving natural gas, were checking into the explosion that took place at about 9.30am ET (1330 GMT) on Wednesday, shortly after a nearby resident called Con Edison to complain about the smell of gas.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said a preliminary investigation indicated the explosion in East Harlem was caused by a gas leak

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