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Updated: Fri, 14 Mar 2014 03:02:47 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

New York City gas explosion: Rescuers search through rubble



An excavator removes debris from the site of a building explosion, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in New York. Rescuers working amid gusty winds, cold temperatures and billowing smoke pulled four additional bodies Thursday from the rubble of two New York City apartment buildings, raising the death toll to at least seven from a gas leak-triggered explosion that reduced the area to a pile of smashed bricks, splinters and mangled metal. The explosion Wednesday morning in Manhattan's East Harlem injured more than 60 people. (© AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

An excavator removes debris from the site of a building explosion, Thursday, March 13, 2014 in New York. Rescuers working amid gusty winds, cold temperatures and billowing smoke pulled four additional bodies Thursday from the rubble of two New York City apartment buildings, raising the death toll to at least seven from a gas leak-triggered explosion that reduced the area to a pile of smashed bricks, splinters and mangled metal. The explosion Wednesday morning in Manhattan's East Harlem injured more than 60 people. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press

Workers searching a pile of rubble from a gas explosion are using sound devices to probe for voices and telescopic cameras to peer into small spaces.

Fire Department of New York Chief Edward Kilduff says they're working "with hope" for the possibility of finding survivors.

The search is slow going. Forty per cent to 50 per cent of the debris was removed by Thursday evening. Kilduff says a fire is still burning, and the force of the explosion collapsed and pancaked layers of floors. A back wall is still freestanding and poses a collapse hazard.

Workers are planning a full day of work Friday removing debris. They're hoping to make it down to the first floor by Saturday and then move onto the basement.

At least eight people died in Wednesday's blast.

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