A Building Exploded in Harlem, and There’s a Guy Flying a Drone

March 12, 2014 | Andy Cush

At around 9 this morning, an explosion at 116th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem collapsed two buildings and shut down Metro North service, injuring at least 11 people. Several media outlets are reporting that one to two people have died.

UPDATE (12:25PM): The NYPD is reporting two deaths and 17 injuries. According to Mayor de Blasio, the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

ANIMAL’s Aymann Ismail and Bucky Turco are on the scene, and report that amid the chaos, ConEd workers are jackhammering through concrete to get to the gas lines in an attempt to prevent what police termed a “secondary explosion.”

There’s also a man on the scene piloting a drone, who says he’d like to try to sell the photos he snaps from his UAV to a news outlet (it’s the tiny white speck toward the right of the smoke cloud in the above photo).

It’s a DJI quadcopter, and Brian Wilson, the operator, says it’s capable of flying at heights up to about 1,400 feet. “I got some good shots that ain’t nobody getting,” he said.

(Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)