- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rep. Charles Rangel, New York Democrat, said Wednesday that he has no doubt that the explosion in East Harlem is the result of a gas leak, not a terrorist attack.

“I talked to Con Ed, and they indicated that they received complaints of the smell and odor and soon after that, the buildings exploded,” he said by phone from Washington to MSNBC. “So it seems to me you can get rid of any theory of terrorism being a target in that area that I know so well.”

“There’s no question in my mind that even though the investigation has not been complete that this was a gas leak,” he said.

Two buildings in East Harlem exploded Wednesday morning after Con Ed, the electric company for New York City, received a call about the smell of gas. The fire shut down train service in the area and has killed at least one person, with more than a dozen injured, MSNBC reported.

After the votes in the House Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Rangel will return to New York because people just want to be around others for comfort when tragedy strikes close to home, he said.

“We have to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “When the votes are completed, I’m going to rush there to see what if anything I can do.”

SEE ALSO: Explosion rocks Manhattan apartment building, structure collapses

• Jacqueline Klimas can be reached at jklimas@washingtontimes.com.

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