Nineteen people were killed, including nine children, and dozens were injured from an apartment building fire in The Bronx borough of New York City on Sunday, according to city officials.
New York City mayor Eric Adams confirmed 19 people had died from the blaze that broke out about 11am local time in a 19-floor apartment building.
Earlier on Sunday, officials said 32 people had been hospitalised with life-threatening injuries and some 60 were injured in total.
“We’ve lost 19 of our neighbours today . . . join me in praying for those we lost,” said Mr Adams.
A photographer at the scene on Sunday saw emergency responders performing CPR on at least eight people in front of the building. Firefighters with hose lines were working to push smoke out of the building and one of them was seen breaking a window on an upper floor to release the fumes.
The blaze was still under investigation, said the city’s fire department commissioner Daniel Nigro.
Mr Nigro said smoke had spread to every floor, likely because the door to the apartment where it started was left open, and that victims had suffered from significant smoke inhalation.
“Members found victims on every floor in stairwells and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” he said.
Some 200 firefighters helped put out the blaze and some ran out of oxygen in their tanks but pushed through anyway to rescue people from the building, Mr Adams told CNN on Sunday.
This was the second deadly fire in a residential complex in the US this week after 12 people, including eight children, were killed early on Wednesday when flames swept through a public housing apartment building in Philadelphia.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she was horrified by the devastating fire and that her “heart is with the loved ones of all those we’ve tragically lost”. – Reuters