Explosion causes buildings to collapse in New York, 36 people injured, 3 dead

Explosion causes buildings to collapse in New York, 36 people injured, 3 dead

New York, Mar 13 (TruthDive): At least three persons died and thirty six were injured after a five-storey residential construction in the neighbourhood of Manhattan’s East Harlem blasted and was levelled on Wednesday morning, said a law-enforcement official.

The police said two residential buildings — 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue — had collapsed. Initial call was made to the fire department at 9:31 am and they reached the spot in just two minutes.

After the residential buildings exploded and collapsed, it sparked serious fire engulfing the region with thick smoke. Reports from the local TV stations said that among the 36 injured 11 people had got minor injuries. In just one hour later, people were pulled out from the rubbles and were sent to the nearby hospitals being loaded in ambulances.

Witnesses reported that before the buildings collapsed they heard a big sound that sounded as an explosion. The force of explosion was such that it blew out the windows in neighbouring buildings. Smoke and flames could be seen rising from the street.

Officials said that the blast occurred due to gas explosion. A law enforcement official said the technicians at spot have made tests that have revealed high level gas content.

All the train services from Grand Central station were suspended as the incident took place next to the tracks. Road traffics also were shut down for nearly 20 square blocks.

Footages showed debris scattered all over the street and dark smoke emerging out of collapsed building. Images from the helicopters showed the roof of the building seemed to have been completely collapsed.

To control the fires, the fire fighters were raised above the rising smoke to pour water on the rubbles of the red-brick buildings that were surrounded by flames. At all the four junctions of the meeting place of Lexington and 116th crowd gathered to watch the fire, but the officers blocked the streets.

After 11 years, ‘Part of 9/11 plane landing gear’ found in New York

After 11 years, ‘Part of 9/11 plane landing gear’ found in New York

New York, Apr 28 (TruthDive): New York police said a rusted 5-foot-tall piece of landing gear that appears to be part of one of the hijacked planes that flew into the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001 has been found.

The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said on Friday that on Wednesday, around 11 a.m., the surveyors called 911 to say they had found a piece of damaged machinery, when they were inspecting a lower Manhattan building.

What the police saw in the site was a piece of metal about 5 feet high, 3 feet wide and about 17 inches in depth, which had a Boeing label and serial number. It was lodged in the narrow gap between 50 Murray Street, a residential building, and 51 Park Place, which is empty. He said, the rusted machinery had been “out of mind and out of sight for over a decade”.

The piece was found in a narrow, rubbish-filled space 18 in (0.45m) wide. Mr. Browne said, that area is inaccessible from the street, adding that a tiny door opens into the corridor from a neighbouring building.

The police secured the area as they would a crime scene, Mr. Browne said. He added he could not remember the last time a large piece of wreckage from the attack was discovered.

He said that the component bore a Boeing serial number and that a personnel from Police Department’s aviation unit had recognised it as part of a landing gear. He also noted that it was found near where other wreckage from the jetliners were found shortly after the attacks.

Police also have a suspicion whether the component was placed intentionally. On Friday, Police Commissioner of New York Raymond W. Kelly said that police would also consider the possibility that the damaged machinery had intentionally been placed between the two buildings.

On 11 September 2001, at 08:46, American Airlines flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. After seventeen minutes, United flight 175 hit the south tower.

Although debris from the attack was cleared in 2002, other rubble have been found distributed across the area in the years since.

Bangladeshi arrested for New York bomb plot pleads guilty

Bangladeshi arrested for New York bomb plot pleads guilty

New York, Feb 8 (TruthDive): A 21-year old Bangladeshi student, Quazi Mohammad Nafis and al-Qaeda aspirant, who came to the US aiming to “destroy America”, pleaded guilty on Thursday in the Brooklyn federal court to the terrorism related charges.

He apologized to the U.S. District Judge Carol Amon in a humble, boyish voice, saying, “I no longer support violent Jihad. I sincerely and deeply regret my involvement with this case.”

Last October, Quazi Nafis, 21, was arrested as part of an FBI operation where federal agents, acting as his partner in crime, supplied Nafis with a fake 1,000-pound bomb which they parked outside the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan. The student was arrested as he tried to activate the bomb with the help of a cell phone.

He faces a possible sentence of 30 years to life in jail for setting up a terrorist group and plotting the use of a mass destruction weapon in the United States, the judge said and the sentencing was set for May 30.

Investigators said Nafis had travelled to New York in January, 2012 with the intention of carrying out terrorist attack on the American soil and apparently sought out al-Qaeda operatives, but instead recruited an FBI source.

Nafis contacted an FBI undercover agent who posed as an al-Qaeda organiser. After the request of Nafis, the undercover agent supplied him with 20 fifty-pound bags of fake explosives, the FBI statement said.

Authorities said Nafis planned several targets for the attack, that includes a high-ranking U.S. official and New York Stock Exchange, before settling on the Federal Reserve Bank.

Nafis, who was previously recorded making inspiring statements about his desire to “destroy America” has said: “We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom.”

From Bangladesh, Nafis’s father has denied his son was involved and said he was the victim of a “racist” conspiracy.

Helicopter crashes into East River in New York City

Helicopter crashes into East River in New York City

New York, Oct 5 (TruthDive): A helicopter crashed Tuesday in a river in New York City, killing a woman and injuring four other people. The helicopter crashed in a river near midtown Manhattan shortly after take-off from a riverbank heliport.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters it is thought the helicopter was upside down when it crashed. He said it was not clear what caused the crash.

Emergency crews arrived within seconds of the crash to find the helicopter upside-down in the murky water with just its skids showing on the surface. The pilot, Paul Dudley, and three passengers were bobbing, and witnesses reported a man diving down, possibly in an attempt to rescue the remaining passenger.

The passengers were friends of the pilot’s family. Aboard the helicopter were the pilot and four passengers – a husband and wife, both British citizens, the wife’s daughter, who is also British and died at the scene, and the daughter’s Australian friend.

The British woman who died was visiting the city with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday. She lived in Sydney, Australia. Police say she apparently was trapped inside as the chopper sank about 50 feet below the surface of the swift-moving water.

Two of the injured were transferred to the city’s Bellevue Hospital suffering from cardiac and respiratory arrest, said New York Fire Department spokesman Jim Long. Another man was listed in serious condition and was transferred to New York University Medical Center, he said.

Emergency workers were seen assisting one person at the water’s edge near where the incident occurred. Bloomberg said the pilot “was rescued very quickly and brought ashore” and was unharmed.

The private chopper apparently had run into trouble and was trying to return to the heliport when it went into the river off 34th Street in midtown Manhattan, a few blocks south of the United Nations headquarters. It’s unclear what happened, but witnesses reported it was sputtering and appeared to be in some type of mechanical distress.

The crash renewed some officials’ calls to restrict helicopter traffic in the crowded skies over Manhattan, echoing calls from 2009, when a tourist helicopter and a small private plane collided over the Hudson River. Nine people died in that accident.

After the Tuesday crash, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, who represents the East Side, called for the Federal Aviation Administration to consider “whether or not it makes sense” to allow nonessential helicopter traffic to originate in Manhattan.

9/11 anniversary: New York on high alert over terror threat

9/11 anniversary: New York on high alert over terror threat

Washington, Sept 9 (TruthDive): A “specific, credible but unconfirmed” threat has emerged coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. officials said Thursday evening.

President Obama called on the US to “redouble” anti-terror efforts. New York is to be put into a state of heightened alert over the 9/11 anniversary weekend, with extra bomb sweeps, dog patrols, surveillance of tunnels and bridges and even vehicle check points.

A law enforcement source said a manhunt was underway for two or three suspects. “We have received credible information very recently about a possible plot directed at the homeland that seems to be focused on New York and Washington, D.C.,” a senior administration official told CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr.

But “the intelligence picture is not completely formed,” the official said. “Not enough is known about the potential operatives and their plotting.”

In the days leading up to the anniversary Commissioner Kelly told he had concerns about a new threat. “We are worried specifically about something happening on the anniversary of 9/11 because we saw on some of Bin Laden’s materials that there was discussion about the 10 year anniversary, the 10 year memorial.

“There is no doubt that New York is safer now than it was 10 years ago, but there are no guarantees. We don’t know what we don’t know and we are doing everything that I believe we can do to protect the city, but it is a dangerous world,” he added.

Officials noted that documents seized during the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound on 2 May 2011 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, showed the al-Qaeda leader was considering strikes to coincide with the anniversary.

Security measures around the US, including in New York and Washington, have been enhanced in the weeks leading to the anniversary on Sunday.