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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

New York fire: Three critically injured after East Village building collapse

More than 130 firefighters responded.

Updated at 8.55pm

ddddd Source: Fox News screengrab

A MAJOR BLAZE tore through a commercial and residential block in New York’s East Village today following a possible explosion.

Local stations are reporting that twelve people have been injured – three critically.

More than 130 fire fighters are at the scene battling to control the raging flames.

The entire building on Second Avenue was engulfed in flames and a number of floors collapsed.

bd Source: ABC screengrab

Thick grey smoke spewed over the Manhattan skyline.

It was not immediately clear how many people may have been inside the building.

The fire department described it as a mixed commercial-residential property. A spokeswoman said more than 30 fire units had responded to a “report of a major emergency, possible building collapse and possible explosion.”

“We have heavy fire on the scene.”

A reporter for local station Fox 5 said the building had collapsed as firefighters responded to the incident.

He said three people had been critically injured. It was not immediately clear whether they had been inside the building at the time.

A number of witnesses told the station they had heard an explosion before the fire broke out.

fire Source: Fox 5

The area was being evacuated, and other people were being evaluated at the scene.

“I could feel the boom in my apartment, and it short of shook,” said freelance photographer Michael Seto, who lives a block and half away.

He grabbed his camera, ran outside and found a crowd gathering, looking at a brick tenement-style building with a restaurant on the first floor.

“By the second storey, the front part of the building, the facade, the first and second storeys, it looked like, had collapsed into the street,” he said.

Rubble was on the sidewalk, and glass and debris had been flung across an avenue.

As Seto ran up to the building, a fire was starting inside it.

“It spread very quickly and pretty much engulfed the first floor,” he said.

Meanwhile, a man was climbing up the fire escape, not down, he said.

“People were calling to him that the building’s on fire — he needs to get down,” and he did, Seto said.

He saw one person lying on the ground, being attended to by two to three passers-by who were holding his head still.

A woman was sitting on the curb with blood coming down her face, and another woman walked past him with blood on her face.

Includes reporting from AFP and Associated Press. 

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