A building has partially collapsed in Manhattan’s East Village, resulting in at least 19 injuries, according to media reports and FDNY. An explosion and fire were also reported.
It’s unclear if there were deaths, but it appears there aren’t any. Firefighters said at least 12 people were hurt, three critically, and other people were being evaluated at the scene. Also, restaurants Pommes Frites and Sushi Park were destroyed in the blaze.
THIS FIRE IN THE EAST VILLAGE IS WILD RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/ron6GDb4ka
— marissa a. ross (@MarissaARoss) March 26, 2015
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement on the building collapse.
“Our thoughts and our prayers are with every one of them and their families. And of course, we are praying that no other individuals are found injured, and that there are no fatalities, but that is an ongoing effort that FDNY and all other first responders are involved in,” he said.
He added: “I want to also commend the FDNY. This is a complex and difficult operation they’re mounting here, obviously doing everything they can to search for anyone who still may be in those buildings, but also to ensure that there’s not spread of fire to the surrounding buildings. And the FDNY, as usual, is doing an extraordinary job handling this very, very difficult situation.”
The building is located near East 7th Streets and 2nd Ave. Specifically, the building is at 125 2nd Ave.
The area was being evacuated, and the city’s health department advised residents to keep their windows closed because of the smoke. Investigators were looking into whether there had been a gas leak.
Orange flames and black smoke were seen billowing from the five-story building.
The fire and partial collapse is near the New York University and the Washington Square Park area.
“The fire is almost down to smoke now,” said writer Scott Westerfeld. “FDNY may have saved the adjoining buildings. Still four streams of water on it.”
Adil Choudhury, who lives a block away, ran outside when he heard “a huge boom.”
“Already there was smoke everywhere” when he saw the building, he said. “The flames were coming out from the roof. The fire was coming out of every window.”
Freelance photographer Michael Seto said he could feel the explosion in his apartment, about 1 ½ blocks away.
At least 100 firefighters are on the scene and are responding to the fire, reported the New York Times. A witness also said they heard a loud boom that seemed to come from the building.
All firefighters have been accounted for, said ABC News.
The incident took place at 3:20 p.m. EDT. Emergency responders are on the scene.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.