According to Con Ed, there have been no recent reports of a gas leak, and a survey of the gas lines in the area last month didn't show any leaks either. But residents are telling a different story, with many reporting that they have been smelling gas for weeks prior to the incident. Keema Thomas, who lived in the buildings, had this to say to the New York Post:
"For the past two years, we've been smelling gas in the building. And police from the 25th Precinct would come and evacuate it sometimes. They'll say, 'Yeah, we smell gas,' or whatever the case is, but then they'd let us back in 10, 15 minutes later. And they'd say it's fine. But we've definitely been smelling gas for a while now."
The FDNY remains at the scene working to sift through the rubble and stomp out fires. For those concerned about people still missing, the mayor's office has advised: "Anyone attempting to locate family or loved ones that may have been in the immediate area should contact the Unified Victim Identification System at 311, which is active."