Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 12, 2014

2 NYC buildings collapse in explosion, 2 dead

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City fire department says more than a dozen people are still missing after an explosion leveled two apartment buildings, killing two people.

The department also says more than 20 others were injured, including two with life-threatening injuries.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says some of those unaccounted for may have fled to safety. He says the city is expending every effort to locate them.

The White House issued a statement offering "thoughts and prayers" and commending first responders.

The mayor urged worried relatives to call 311. A hotline was being set up.

The cause was not immediately known. However, utility workers were on the way to check out a report of a gas odor at the time of the 9:30 a.m. blast Wednesday.

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