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Surveillance Video Captures Borough Park Home Explosion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New video shows the moment an explosion blew off the front of a building in Borough Park on Saturday.

Meanwhile, crews were still searching Sunday for a woman missing after the deadly blast in Brooklyn.

Another woman was killed and several people were injured when the blast blew off the entire front of the three-story Borough Park building and sent debris flying around 1 p.m. Saturday, CBS2's Ilana Gold reported.

The search at the building at 13th Avenue and 42nd Street was complicated by concerns about the building's structural integrity. As 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported, a giant construction claw was being used to remove some of the pieces of the damaged buildings -- the neighboring building also suffered significant damage.

Police have found that the woman who is unaccounted for had sent out messages on social media expressing suicidal thoughts, sources told 1010 WINS. Investigators will have to determine if that is related to the explosion.

On Saturday, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the family in the second-floor apartment was in the process of moving out and had permission to remove the high-end stove in the kitchen. Investigators will try to determine if it was removed properly and what happened to the gas line.

The missing woman is the mother of two teenage children who have been located and are unharmed.

The building caught fire and people started running for cover seconds after the blast.

"The building was engulfed in flames. Everything was crumbling down," said 16-year-old Brigitte Martinez.

Rescuers were on scene within three minutes and found a woman dead in the stairwell. On Sunday, police identified her as Ligia Puello, 64, who lived on the third floor.

According to fire officials, 12 others were injured -- one with severe injuries, one with moderate injuries and the rest with minor injuries.

"The injured on the street were actually two men coming home from synagogue and a 10-year-old kid," said Jacob Kornbluh, a Borough Park resident.

For emergency workers, the search for the missing woman has been a delicate recovery effort.

"You can't just move in and start looking for that possible body or for any cause or evidence," he said. "You have to very slowly go in and simultaneously shore up the building while removing debris and rubble by hand."

The building had a business on the first floor and two apartments above it.

Nearly 50 people from five buildings have been displaced. The building and the one next to it will likely be torn down, Lander said.

"We've been talking to a lot of those families and trying to get them the things they need," Lander told WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola.

Local politicians and religious leaders will be working with the mayor's office to establish a charity fund to help people affected by the explosion.

Despite indications it may have been a gas explosion, Mayor Bill de Blasio said no one reported smelling gas before the incident.

"After the incident in East Harlem, we emphasize, the people New York City, if you smell gas, call 911," de Blasio said. "We know in too many cases people haven't done that in the past."

Citing recent gas explosions in East Harlem and the East Village, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday he is directing the state Department of Public Service "to undertake an investigation into the cause of this incident."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilman Jumaane Williams, D-Brooklyn, called Sunday for a broader investigation into why so many gas explosions happen in New York City.

Adams said new gas safety measures might involve requiring licensure to disconnect, replace or modify gas lines linked to home appliances.

City Councilman Jumaane Williams, chair of the committee on housing and buildings, is working with Adams to introduce tightened safety proposals in the council.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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