Mayor Bill de Blasio returned to the site of the fatal East Harlem building explosion and collapse this morning, where he was briefed on the ongoing recovery efforts by first responders.
Yesterday morning’s explosion–apparently caused by a gas leak–leveled two buildings near the corner of East 116th Street and Park Avenue, spewing debris into the street and leaving at least seven dead and 37 injured as of last night, with others still missing, a fire department spokesman said. Continue reading “De Blasio Returns to Tour Harlem Explosion Site”→
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was on her way to City Hall from her home in East Harlem this morning when she noticed Twitter erupting with early reports of a massive explosion that had rocked her district, leveling two buildings and leaving at least two dead and 22 injured, according to fire officials.
“I left my home at about 9:15, 9:20. I was on my way to City Hall when I started seeing some activity on Twitter from constituents that had heard the explosion or had been rocked by the explosion, some that live on 118th Street. So I turned around, came uptown,” Ms. Mark-Viverito told the Observer after an emergency briefing this afternoon a block from the site, which remains ablaze. Continue reading “Mark-Viverito Says District Office Doubling as Command Post After Explosion”→
Mayor Bill de Blasio today said he had no regrets about agency staffing following this morning’s massive East Harlem explosion, which collapsed two buildings, killing at least two and leaving more than a dozen injured. The explosion appears to have been caused by gas.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito represents the neighborhood and has been on the scene for the last hour, according to her spokesman. The City Council’s stated meeting, where the entire council meets to introduce and vote on legislation, is scheduled for 1 p.m. today and Ms. Mark-Vierito has already canceled a pre-stated press conference. Continue reading “Council Meeting Could Be Delayed After East Harlem Explosion”→
This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly gave a press briefing to update the public on the city’s security efforts in the wake of yesterday’s deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon. And, while stating there are no specific threats connected to the Boston incident, Mr. Bloomberg ominously warned about “special interests” shaping the city’s security policies in a way “that the terrorists are waiting for.”
“The N.Y.P.D … has helped deter and thwart numerous terrorist attacks on our city in the past,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “But we must remain vigilant for the future. And we are vigilant. The fact is there remain people who want to attack us. The moment we let our guard down, the moment we get complacent, the moment we allow special interests to shape our security strategies is the moment that the terrorists are waiting for.”
President Barack Obama may have been reluctant to use the term “terrorism” to describe yesterday’s deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon, but Long Island Rep. Pete King, who up until recently was Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, thinks there’s no doubt.
“Clearly, this was a terrorist attack,” Mr. King said on Morning Joe today. “You had the multiple explosions. You had someone who was able to penetrate security. Amateurs don’t do that, so this was well-planned and coordinated. It was a terrorist attack. It’s a question of who did it, … it’s too early to say. Obviously we have to consider whether it was Islamic jihad. It could also be white supremacist, it could be anti-government people.”