Suicide ‘Possible' in Brooklyn Explosion, NYPD Sources Say

UPDATE: 2nd Body Found in Rubble at Explosion Site: Sources

Investigators are looking at suicide as a "possible" cause of the apparent gas explosion that killed a woman and injured three others in Brooklyn, sources said Sunday.

The revelation came as officials confirmed that at least one other woman is still unaccounted for and that she her body could be in the wreckage of the building.

The missing woman, whose identity hasn't been disclosed, posted suicidal thoughts on social media, police sources said.

Speaking at a news conference Sunday with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, community officials said that they fear the body of a second woman may be found in the remnants of the exploded building at 42nd Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park.

"There is a fear that there still may be one body in the building," said New York City Councilman Brad Lander. "(The FDNY and NYPD) are moving very, very slowly."

Crews were delicately sifting through the debris on Sunday in hopes of finding the woman, but officials say that it's likely both the building where the blast went off and an adjacent one will eventually have to be demolished. Several other buildings in the area also remain under an evacuation order.

A gas leak has been eyed as the cause of the blast, which blew off the front of the building. The exact cause is under investigation, but authorities say it may have followed the removal of a stove.

A woman, identified Sunday as Ligia Puello, 64, who lived on the third floor of the building, was pronounced dead after the explosion.

A 33-year-old man and his 10-year-old son and a 27-year-old man were injured by bricks and other debris blown onto the sidewalk as they walked past the front of the building. They are expected to survive their injuries but were taken to area hospitals.

Officials said 49 residents were displaced by the explosion and fire. The Red Cross is helping those individuals.

The collapse follows two other explosions in recent years in the city. One killed eight people in East Harlem last year. And two people died in an East Village explosion earlier this year.

The incident prompted Gov. Cuomo to direct the state Department of Public Service to investigate the cause of the explosion.

"This explosion is the latest in a disturbing trend of incidents that occurred in Harlem and the East Village," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by today's explosion, especially the friends and family of those lost or injured."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us