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A major explosion caused by a gas leak flattened two residential buildings in Manhattan on Wednesday, killing two women and injuring 24 people as thick white smoke billowed into the sky. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called the incident "a tragedy of the worst kind" and raised concerns about a number of people still unaccounted for after the disaster in East Harlem. Around 15 minutes before the blast, energy company Con Edison received a call from an adjoining apartment building alerting maintenance staff to the smell of gas. The explosion struck at around 9:30am and New York Fire Department said firefighters were on the scene two minutes later.
Riot police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters in Ankara and Istanbul on Wednesday as tens of thousands took to the streets to mourn a teenage boy who died from injuries suffered in last year's anti-government protests. In Istanbul, large crowds shouting anti-government slogans lit a huge fire as they made their way to a cemetery for the burial of 15-year-old Berkin Elvan. In the western city of Izmir, one woman was left with a broken leg and several others were hospitalised after police tried to stop crowds marching towards local government buildings, news channel NTV reported. Elvan, who died in an Istanbul hospital on Tuesday after 269 days in a coma, was hit on the head by a tear gas canister while going to buy bread during the protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that gripped Turkey in June.