The death toll from the gas explosion that destroyed two buildings in the East Harlem section of New York has risen to seven, media reports said Thursday.

The explosion, which occurred around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, injured at least 74 people, who are being treated at hospitals around the city.

Nine people are listed as missing in the blast, NBC reported.

Rescue teams spent the night digging through the rubble at the site, The New York Times said.

The explosion happened about 15 minutes after a resident called utility company Consolidated Edison to report the smell of gas.

At least two of the dead are Mexican citizens, the Mexican government said late Wednesday.

"According to the information provided by local authorities to the Mexican General Consulate in the city, two females died and a third person, a male, is hospitalized, all of whom are presumed to be Mexican nationals," the Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

Mexican Consul in New York Sandra Fuentes notified the government of the state of Puebla that two of the dead, males ages 22 and 43, were from the state, the Puebla government said.

The two buildings shattered by the blast were home to 15 families. EFE