De Blasio Returns to Tour Harlem Explosion Site

Mayor Bill de Blasio getting briefed on the apartment collapse in East Harlem this morning. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
Mayor Bill de Blasio getting briefed on the East Harlem apartment collapse this morning. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

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”

Mark-Viverito Says District Office Doubling as Command Post After Explosion

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the scene of the East Harlem Building Collapse. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the scene of the East Harlem Building Collapse. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

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”

De Blasio Says He Has No Regrets About Agency Staffing After East Harlem Explosion

Mayor Bill de Blasio and emergency responders a block from the scene of the explosion.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and emergency responders a block from the scene of the 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.

Speaking at a briefing a block from the site–which remained smoldering, with more than 250 firefighters on scene more than three hours after the blast–Mr. de Blasio heaped praise on emergency workers and first responders, including the Department of Building’s Acting Commissioner Thomas Fariello. Continue reading “De Blasio Says He Has No Regrets About Agency Staffing After East Harlem Explosion”

Council Meeting Could Be Delayed After East Harlem Explosion

A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)
A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)

A massive building collapse this morning in East Harlem may delay today’s scheduled City Council meeting.

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”

Mayor Bloomberg Warns About ‘Special Interests’ After Boston Bombing

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly. (Screengrab: NYC.gov)
Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly. (Screengrab: NYC.gov)

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.”

Continue reading “Mayor Bloomberg Warns About ‘Special Interests’ After Boston Bombing”

Pete King Says Boston ‘Terrorist Attack’ Shows Need for Police Surveillance

Pete King on Morning Joe. (Screengrab: MSNBC)
Pete King on Morning Joe. (Screengrab: MSNBC)

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.”

Continue reading “Pete King Says Boston ‘Terrorist Attack’ Shows Need for Police Surveillance”