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An explosion rocked New York City’s East Village neighborhood Thursday afternoon and after the blast two buildings were engulfed in flames and and at least a partial building collapse has been reported.
Witnesses at the scene tweeted photos showing the two burning buildings smoke pouring out of the roofs of both. The buildings are both low-rise tenement-style structures.
David Godlis, who lives on St. Marks Place, just around the corner from the explosion site, said he felt his building shake and looked out the window to see people fleeing.
“I saw people running to that direction and people running from that direction,” he told Yahoo News, standing beside a line of blue police tape across the street from his apartment.
The apparent blast and fire occurred at 121 Second Ave. around 3:30 p.m. and spread to 123 Second Ave. The building is a mix of commerical and residential tenants, according to local media reports. NYPD is asking that anyone who knows people who live in the buildings call 311. As of 4:40 p.m. the FDNY reported that 12 people—all civilians—had been injured, three of them critically, in the 7-alarm fire.