An explosion has levelled two apartment buildings in East Harlem, New York City. Police say at least two people have been killed.

Law enforcement officials have ruled out a terrorist attack and told CNN that the building collapse was caused by a gas explosion.

A resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion. Con Edison spokesman Bob McGee says the utility dispatched two crews just after 9:15 am, but they arrived shortly after the explosion.

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Firefighters work in the rubble of a collapsed building in Harlem, new YorkGetty
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An injured man is evacuated by emergency personnelReuters
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A gap can be seen where a building used to beGetty
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Debris litters the roof of a neighbouring building after the blastGetty
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A worker walks along the Metro-North tracks strewn with debris from the explosionGetty
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Smoke, dust and steam rise from the scene as firefighters respond to the building collapse at 1646 Park AveGetty
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Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the site of a building collapse in HarlemReuters
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Firefighters go through debris and rubble at the site of a building collapse and fire in HarlemReuters
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Firefighters investigate the cause of the explosionGetty
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Alicia Thomas (left), who lived in one of the two buildings destroyed in an explosion in the East Harlem section of New York City, is comforted by her friend Shivon DollarReuters
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A firefighter is wreathed in smoke and dust on East 116th streetReuters
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A man carries a child wrapped in a blanket on East 116th streetReuters
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Firefighters work at the site of the collapsed building in the Harlem neighbourhood of ManhattanGetty
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Police attend to a man on East 116th street near an apparent building collapseReuters
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Residents watch emergency personnel work at the site of the collapse in HarlemReuters