New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says at least three people are dead and nine still missing after a blast caused by a gas leak destroyed two buildings in the Harlem neighborhood.
At least 63 people were hurt.
De Blasio calls it a tragedy of the worst kind because it happened with no time to save people.
The blast occurred shortly after someone in a nearby building called authorities to report smelling natural gas. Gas supplier Consolidated Edison sent two crews to the neighborhood, but they arrived just after the explosion happened.
Thick smoke from the buildings could be seen throughout much of Manhattan. Debris littered sidewalks across the neighborhood and covered part of a commuter rail line, suspending train service.