A powerful explosion in the East Village caused one building to collapse and ignited a large fire in a neighboring building on Thursday afternoon, leaving at least a dozen people injured, at least three critically.
Local television footage showed people being carried on stretchers from the brick structure. Television also reported a large explosion at the scene and an adjacent building also on fire.
One person was injured critically and other injuries were possible, said the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).
The FDNY said the building was located at Second Avenue and East 7th Street in Manhattan’s East village, a neighborhood of small businesses, restaurants and apartments.
“We heard a big sound, then three or four people fell on the street,” said Shameem Noor, a cashier at Veselka, a restaurant about a block away.
“People were running and screaming,” he said. “There’s a big fire on the roof and black smoke.”
Reports of the collapse came in shortly after 3 pm, the FDNY said. The FDNY declared it a seven-alarm fire.
Witnesses said it was a five-story apartment building.