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Fire officials: 24 injured in Harlem apartment blast

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Four of the eight injured children came from same family, hospital says
  • One child in critical condition, three in serious condition with burn injuries
  • About 200 firefighters were at the scene in Harlem
  • Residents say some sort of restaurant was being operated in bottom of building
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Twenty-four people, including eight children, were injured in an apparent gas explosion at a Harlem apartment building, the New York Fire Department said.

The explosion blew out some of the windows in the five-story building.

John Rodgers, a spokesman for New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said Sunday that four of the eight children were from the same family.

The conditions of all those injured were not immediately known.

One child was in critical condition and the three others were in serious condition, New York Fire Department Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said.

All four had burn injuries. One of the injured is an infant.

A firefighter was also injured, but was in stable condition Saturday evening. He apparently was struck by falling debris, Scoppetta said.

About 200 firefighters responded to the scene of the blast on West 119th Street in Harlem.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the five-floor building after the explosion.

The 4 p.m. ET blast blew some of the building's windows out, according to firefighters. Video Watch rescue workers tend to injured »

Although the blast was still under investigation, Scoppetta said the cause appeared to be a gas leak. New York police said the blast was at the rear of the structure.

Residents who assisted in pulling the injured out of the building said some kind of restaurant was being operated on the bottom floor of the building. Scoppetta refused comment on those reports, citing the ongoing investigation.

An emergency room worker at Harlem Hospital Center said the facility received five to six people from the explosion about 4:30 p.m., but would not provide an update on their conditions.

The building, which has 20 apartments, was evacuated, as were apartment buildings on both sides, Scoppetta said. Building inspectors will examine them to determine their structural integrity. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Caleb Silver, Jim Acosta and Richard Davis contributed to this report.

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