Two 5-Story Buildings Collapse in East Harlem

Multiple injuries reported due to explosion, firefighters working to contain the smoke overwhelming city streets.
3:00 | 03/12/14

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Transcript for Two 5-Story Buildings Collapse in East Harlem
This is a special group. I'm Michelle Franzen -- New York you're looking at a live picture this is an ABC news digital breaking news report. Huge plumes of smoke rising right now from a building in New York city's east Harlem where there. Are reports of possible explosion crews have been on the scene. There at least 39 units from -- Fire department of New York on scene and hundreds. Of workers -- tried to help get people out of possible the rubble and to also check on the situation. We're also hearing reports of that building that there are possibly might have been a roof collapse there -- debris surrounding the building and reports from residents down on the scene that they had heard a large explosion. And booms in that area we want to go right now to ABC's Aaron -- her ski. Who is down on the ground that -- that area Aaron I know that you've been on -- give us an idea there. What viewers -- -- On the shelf right behind me at 116 street out here -- -- government -- -- -- case to. Life story buildings collapsed and you may not be able to see because of the smoke -- it's dissipated recently. From a it. Black now down to -- brownish brain and indicated indicates that firefighters are ringing notes flames under control. But the scene is very much active there aren't as many as 168. Firefighters on scene and number of other -- emergency responders here. And what's been happening over the last several minutes. They've been getting -- -- -- injuries there are about a dozen injuries some minor some not so minor but it won't be able to get a full handle. Until there wouldn't make sure that that. -- -- Aaron give me an idea this is -- in the east Harlem area residential area can you give us the lay of the land. -- -- The program. Park avenues right where elevated train tracks run through east Harlem and so metro north commuter rail service from New York's northern suburbs in Connecticut has been called off for a while hearing the train tracks were entirely engulfed in smoke now the smoke has dissipated and -- winds have shifted some of the tracks are not covered. But as a precaution metro north has canceled all services a Grand Central Terminal. In the meantime firefighters on extended letters have been putting water on that scene. Two or five story buildings have collapsed those are residential buildings one building may have answered should -- and they are good. Entirely collapsed in the first. I can't train were watching him on the ground you are also -- them live aerial view -- those -- those -- -- the latter's. -- that firefighters or at least trying to get an assessment of what's going on from overhead it looks like the smoke has been a big hinder its ability firefighters is that your sense as well into the. And -- -- firefighters and and Michelle Yeoh you forgive me I can't wait period of the firefighters about a 168 of them have been working within the last hour Justin Tryon. And contain the flames there was some kind of an explosion which people here in east Harlem say they heard from blocks away and then to five story -- buildings. -- partially collapsed. The first thing you notice everybody coming up to this neighborhood is the smell it gets you from blocks away -- accurate -- powerful smell of smoke and an -- -- any others Melanie area including gas and if that's what turns out to me because we should find out shortly. Con Edison the gas company here is on scene and and working to find out what may have happened. And yet we should -- -- that there is no exact cause yet I was asking you about the smoke that you mentioned that big smell I would imagine that's been a hindrance. For firefighters so far. He added that the smoke does make things difficult because sit down and it obscures everyone's view and a number of first responders -- Don masks including police officers were trying to control the crowd as you might imagine with a lot of folks living and working in this area there's quite a crowd around here now as firefighters worked to contain this. There were so many people that heard the explosion -- saw the smoke. That smelled the smoke and people are naturally curious as to what went on. We now know that 25 story buildings collapsed -- the first floor and firefighters are actively working -- -- to control the -- -- -- -- -- very much live at the scene in east Harlem where there have been reports of an explosion again to buildings we are told. Partially collapsed and at least eleven people injured possibly a dozen we will keep you posted -- -- watch. For the latest on abcnews.com. This has been an ABC news digital special breaking news reports.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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