An explosion in New York City has caused two 2nd Avenue buildings to collapse and two other buildings are on fire in the city's East Village neighbourhood, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Nineteen people have been confirmed injured by FDNY and as many as four people are in critical condition. All firefighters have been accounted for. Two men have been reported missing.
Preliminary reports indicate the explosion was caused by a gas leak while plumbing and gas work was going on in the building at 121 2nd Avenue, which collapsed. The building at 123 2nd Avenue was also largely destroyed.
The buildings at 119 and 125 2nd Avenue also caught fire, but the blaze did not spread beyond there.
FDNY tweeted that the fire had grown to seven-alarm status, indicating the severity of the blaze.
MAN 7-ALARM 125 2 AVE, MIXED OCCUPANCY MAJOR BUILDING COLLAPSE,hyphen; FDNY (@FDNY) March 26, 2015
The explosion happened about 3:20 pm on Thursday in the East Village neighbourhood in Manhattan. Local media reported that the building is home to a restaurant, with apartments above. Three adjacent buildings caught fire and another collapsed, the mayor said.
A plumber was doing work connected to a gas service upgrade in the building, and inspectors for utility company Con Edison had been there, company President Craig Ivey said. But the work failed the inspection, partly because a space for the new meters wasn't big enough, Con Ed said.Reuse content