At least three people have been killed, well over 60 injured, and nine others remain unaccounted for after a suspected gas explosion caused the complete collapse of two buildings in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood.
Scores of firefighters are searching for the missing who it's feared are trapped under the debris.
Residents close to the incident have been evacuated as nearby structures were badly damaged by, what witnesses say, was a massive explosion.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene, told reporters that it was a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people.
Officials say they believe the blast was caused by a gas leak as it occurred 15 minutes after a nearby resident reported he could smell gas.
Other sources say a water main running under one of the buildings collapsed onto a gas line causing the leak.