Council Meeting Could Be Delayed After East Harlem Explosion

A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)

A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)

A massive building collapse this morning in East Harlem may delay today’s scheduled City Council meeting.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito represents the neighborhood and has been on the scene for the last hour, according to her spokesman. The City Council’s stated meeting, where the entire council meets to introduce and vote on legislation, is scheduled for 1 p.m. today and Ms. Mark-Vierito has already canceled a pre-stated press conference. 

Sources say a meeting can technically begin without the speaker but likely will not. No events have delayed or canceled council meetings in recent years, though a council source said a meeting scheduled two days after the Sept. 11 attacks was moved to a public library because City Hall was deemed unsafe. 

Seventeen people have reportedly been injured and at least one person died in an explosion at 116th Street and Park Avenue. A cause of the explosion is not yet clear, though reports have speculated that a gas leak could have triggered it. A NY1 report said that a “heavy smell of gas” and multiple health violations were recorded at one of the buildings.