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.
The buildings, located on the east block of 116th street and Park Avenue, exploded and collapsed at about 13:00 GMT on Wednesday, according to police.
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.
Train services to and from Grand Central Terminal have been restored after a complete halt earlier.
Source: TOE, VOA and agencies