Harlem explosion: Eighth body found beneath rubble
The body of an eighth victim has been found by rescue teams trapped beneath the rubble of the apartment blocks that collapsed following an explosion in East Harlem, New York City.
Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise.
Police believe a handful of people remained unaccounted for.
More than 60 people were injured after the devastating blast sent debris flying through the air on Wednesday.
Residents were said to have complained recently about “unbearable” gas smells.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene in Upper Manhattan, said preliminary information showed the explosion was caused by a gas leak.
A fire at the site of the blast on Park Avenue and 116th Street hampered the initial search and a sinkhole created by a broken water main caused further difficulties.
But firefighters worked through the night on Wednesday, as temperatures dropped to near freezing, to sift through the rubble, using a bulldozer to help clear the site.
Rescue workers pulled three bodies out of the debris in the early hours of Thursday morning, and a seventh death was confirmed just before 08:00 local time.
No details have yet been given of the eighth victim.
Rescuers are now about halfway through clearing the rubble.
The blast shattered windows a block away and rained debris on to nearby railway lines, which closed Grand Central station for several hours on Wednesday.
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