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New York building explodes, catches fire

12 March 2014

A large building in New York's Upper Manhattan exploded earlier this morning, television reports showed today. The cause of the blast is currently unknown.

Television images showed heavy smoke and dust rising from the building at East 114th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem near Columbia University, which reportedly collapsed at about 9 a.m.

The fire department has so far reported 11 cases of minor injuries, according to local television reports.

The explosion and collapse of the building disrupted traffic and public transportation has been suspended near the New York City, reports said.

Television reports citing eyewitness accounts stated that that at least half the apartment building came down in the huge explosion that was heard several blocks away.

Fox News quoted spectators as saying that following the explosion the fire has spread and at least five buildings are aflame.

Some reports say the explosion could have been construction related and not terrorism, but the bomb squad is now on scene to investigate.

New York City Fire Department was searching for anyone trapped in the debris, officials said.

The fire department said that so far they have reports of 11 minor injuries, according to local television reports.

The New York City Police Department said it was investigating reports that the collapse may have involved two buildings.

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