'Eight missing' after NewYork City gas explosion.
NEW York City police are trying to trace eight people who are unaccounted for after an apparent gas explosion in Manhattan.
Officers are trying to determine whether or not six people reported missing are connected with the blast in the fashionable East Village. They are not believed to have been inside the three buildings levelled by the explosion.
Police said earlier that another two people were so far unaccounted for but had not yet officially been classi-fied as missing persons.
Restaurant worker Moises Lucon and diner Nicholas Figueroa were in one of the buildings that were destroyed.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the search is "very complex".
At least 19 people were injured, four critically. Preliminary evidence suggests a gas explosion was sparked by plumbing and gas work.
Inspectors discovered faulty work an hour before the blast.
Craig Ivey, president of utility company Con Edison, said a plumber was doing work connected to a gas service upgrade and inspectors had been to check on a planned meter installation about an hour before. But the work failed the inspection, partly because a space for the meters was not big enough and the inspectors said gas could not be introduced to that part of the building.
A firefighter on a ladder truck directs water onto the site of an explosion and fire in the East Village neighbour-<Bhood of NewYork yesterday. Authorities say two people are unaccounted for following an apparent gas explosion