UPDATE: 2 dead, 18 hurt in NY explosion, caused by gas leak - WSMV Channel 4

UPDATE: 2 dead, 18 hurt in NY explosion, caused by gas leak

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NEW YORK CITY (NBC) -Two people are dead, 18 are hurt and others are missing after two buildings collapsed following a gas leak explosion that rattled upper Manhattan and shattered windows with a blast that could be felt blocks away, officials said.

The two five-story buildings at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem collapsed around 9:30 a.m., sources tell NBC 4 New York. FDNY says 16 to 20 people are injured, and two people have been killed.

Mayor de Blasio said the buildings are destroyed. Con Edison told NBC 4 New York a resident in a nearby building called the utility minutes before the explosion, reporting a strong smell of gas that seemed to be coming from outside.

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Smoke billowed into Central Park and could be seen from miles away in midtown, and New Yorkers said they felt rumbles as far away as 150th Street. Closer to the collapse, groceries were knocked from store shelves and debris floated through the air.

A woman who said she was watching TV in her home about a block away said the explosion blew out her windows.

"All my windows shattered and I didn't know what it was," she said on NBC 4 New York. She said first responders soon arrived at her building and ordered everyone out.

Another woman who was at her home on 115th Street between Park and Lexington avenues said she heard the explosion and thought it was a bomb.

"I thought a train had exploded," said Marisa Aquino.

"It sounded like a bomb. That's what it really sounded like," Trey Dey, a laborer who was working in a nearby basement when the buildings exploded, told NBC 4 New York.

Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force responded to the scene out of an abundance of caution, authorities said.

Relatives of people who lived in the buildings were distraught at the scene.

"I want to know if my daughter is fine," said one woman.

Metro-North service has been suspended out of Grand Central because of debris on tracks.

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