A terrible story out of Harlem this morning.
Flames and smoke were sent billowing into the air after an explosion leveled two buildings in East Harlem Wednesday, killing two people and injuring more than a dozen others.
It happened around 9:15 a.m. on Park Avenue on 116th Street.
The exact cause of the blast is still unclear, but Con Edison said crews were responding to the area on a report of a gas odor just prior to the explosion.
“The call came in at 9:13 a.m. from a resident who reported smelling gas inside the apartment, but the resident indicated the odor may have been coming from outside the building,” Con Ed spokesman Sydney Alvarez said. “Two Con Edison crews were dispatched at about 9:15 a.m. and arrived just after the explosion occurred.”
The always calm and rational Charles Rangel calls it his community’s 9/11. Wait, didn’t 9/11 also happen in Manhattan?
Rep. Charles Rangel called an apparent building explosion and collapse in his home district in Harlem, New York the most “horrific” thing that has hit his home district in his time in Washington and his community’s Sept. 11.
“I’ve never had anything this horrific that’s happened in my community since I’ve been in Washington,” Rangel told NBC’s New York affiliate Wednesday as news reports of the fire response continued to come in. “I hope that soon, and very soon, it will be contained and we can go back to some degree of normal normalcy.”
The New York Democrat said his entire staff in New York was onhand and he was evaluating whether he needs to leave Washington to go home Wednesday night to be there for his community.
In the meantime, he said members of Congress from New York were watching the reports come in.
“This is a very serious thing. It’s our community’s 9/11, even though we don’t know how it started,” Rangel said. “The whole New York delegation has been concerned, and members that are not in committee are glued to the television and hearing reports from you makes us at least a little closer to home.”
Closer to home, unlike lower Manhattan where nearly 3,000 people were murdered. Rangel is baffled as to who would attack “his community,” ignoring the fact it was likely a natural gas explosion. Years from now we’ll all reflect on where we were on March 12, 2014 as Charlie Rangel’s community was under attack.