Explosion Causes Partial Collapse, Then Complete Collapse of Commercial and Apartment Building in East Village, New York

An explosion caused a partial collapse, fire and then complete collapse of a building at the northwest corner of East 7th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York Thursday afternoon.

FDNY firefighters responded to report of a building explosion at 125 2nd Ave. near St. Mark’s Place about 3:20 p.m., officials said. The fire operation was elevated to a 7-Alarm fire by 4:15 p.m. ET.

At least two buildings are directly affected. One of the buildings includes a boutique called Enz’s with apartments above the first floor. Early reports have stated that as many have 30 people were injured and transported to area hospitals. A fire department report at 4:39 p.m. ET stated that 3 people were critically injured, and at least a total of 12 people were injured. People were seen running from the building with torn clothes and injuries that caused bleeding. Some patients have been transported to Bellevue Hospital. Two patients have been transported to a burn center.

Flames have spread to the south of the main fire building, which totally collapsed about 4:00 p.m. ET. Pommes Frites is located at or near the collapsed building.

A witness on WABC reported live at about 4:06 p.m. ET that a man went into the bathroom at a restaurant and then ran out of the building. However, the initial thoughts of investigators on the cause of the explosion are focused on the Sushi Park restaurant. Several other witnesses reported a “strong smell of gas” before the explosion.

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