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Gas Leak Found Near Collapsed Harlem Buildings

Workers stand beside the recently cleared basement of the two buildings leveled by an explosion on Wednesday in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York
John Minchillo—AP Workers stand beside the recently cleared basement of the two buildings leveled by an explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City on March 16, 2014

Investigators say a gas line adjacent to one of the Harlem buildings destroyed in a deadly March 12 explosion has a leak

Investigators on the scene of the destroyed buildings in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood have discovered a leaky gas main adjacent to one of the collapsed apartments.

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) discovered that an 8-in. (20 cm) cast-iron and plastic main on Park Avenue between 116th and 117th streets didn’t pass a pressure test at the normal operating pressure and identified a leak in the pipe right next to one of the collapsed buildings on 1646 Park Avenue. The NTSB said in a press release on Tuesday that it was removing two service lines recovered in the basements of the destroyed buildings.

Investigators said they would continue to expose pipes beneath rubble in order to find evidence of gas leaks that may have caused an explosion on March 12. Eight people died and dozens were injured when the two buildings collapsed.

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