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All clear given after Statue of Liberty bomb threat

The Statue of Liberty and Liberty island were evacuated this afternoon Credit: Reuters

UPDATE: A bomb threat that led to the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island was unfounded, a law enforcement official told NBC 4 New York.

The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were both evacuated as a precaution amid security concerns, the National Parks Service said.

Parks officials said the evacuation of the New York monument began shortly before 1pm local time and a security sweep of Liberty Island is taking place.

Parks police had received a report of a suspicious package.

Two bodies found after New York gas explosion

Two bodies have been found following a gas explosion which destroyed New York City apartment buildings last week, officials say.

A car sits amongst the rubble after the deadly explosion in New York. Credit: Reuters

The bodies were discovered close to one of the buildings which had been reduced to rubble by the blast on Thursday, the city's fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The remains are believed to belong to two missing men who were eating in a sushi restaurant when the explosion occurred.

Three buildings collapsed and 11 buildings were evacuated after the blast, leaving residents of around 144 apartments homeless.


Four in 'critical condition' after apparent NY gas blast

The apparent gas explosion in New York damaged buildings containing 49 apartments. Credit: APTN

Four people are in 'critical condition' after three apartment buildings collapsed in New York's East Village neighborhood from an apparent gas explosion, authorities said.

The blast injured a total of 19 people and sent flames leaping into the sky.

Bloodied victims ran from the buildings, collapsing on the street, witnesses said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference that preliminary evidence indicated it was a gas-related explosion.

A Fire Department spokesman said four buildings had caught fire and three had collapsed or partially collapsed.


Police name seven children killed in NY house blaze

Seven children aged five to 16 years old were killed in the blaze in Brooklyn. Credit: Reuters/Stephanie Keith

Police in New York have identified the seven children who died in a house fire in Brooklyn as five-year-old Yaakob Sassoon,Sara, 6, Moshe, 8, Yeshua, 10, Rivkah, 11, David, 12, and 16-year-old Eliane.

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze which erupted in the early hours of the morning, and brought it under control within an hour but the children could not be saved.

The bodies of the victims were found in their bedrooms near the back of the home after their mother, 45, and another teenage daughter jumped to safety.

The blaze was apparently started accidentally by a hot plate according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the scene and told reporters: "This is an unbelievable tragedy. Every New Yorker is feeling this pain right now.

"You can literally see what was a home for a large and strong family and now it is wiped out, every room empty and burned."

De Blasio asked for the surrounding community to support the family's grieving father, who was apparently away for a conference overnight.

Hotplate may have caused fire that killed seven

The remains of the Brooklyn home Credit: Reuters

A malfunctioning hotplate may have caused the fire that killed seven children when it ripped through a New York home.

The dead range in age from five to 15 years while the children's mother and a teenager who jumped from the second floor are in hospital in a critical condition.

The fire broke out early on Saturday in a Brooklyn neighbourhood largely populated by Orthodox Jews.

New York City's fire commissioner Daniel Nigro said the hotplate was left on because of Sabbath prohibitions against cooking.

"This is the largest tragedy by fire that this city has had in seven years," an emotional Nigro told a press conference.

"It's a tragedy for this family, it's a tragedy for this community, it's a tragedy for the city."

Neighbour Nate Weber told the New York Daily News he heard the children's mother yelling for someone to rescue her children after she jumped from a window.

"I heard a woman yelling: 'My kids are in there. Get them out! Get them out!'" he said.

Seven children die in house fire in New York

The fire broke out at a house in the Midwood area of Brooklyn Credit: Google Maps

Seven children believed to be from the same family have died in a house fire in Brooklyn, New York.

The New York Fire Department said the children were aged between 5 and 15. Two people are also in critical condition following the blaze.

More than 100 firefighters were sent to tackle the fire at a house in the Midwood area in the early hours.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

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