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At Least 12 Hurt in East Village Explosion, Fire

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An explosion caused the collapse of a building on 2nd Avenue near 7th Street this afternoon and started a fire that consumed a second building. At least a dozen people were injured, three critically. Construction was taking place at  the buildings, 121 and 123 2nd Avenue. Firefighters believe it was a gas explosion. About 250 firefighters were on the scene. Calls to 911 started coming in at about 3:15 p.m. EV Grieve has continuing coverage. Derek Dragotis shot this video from a building about four blocks from the scene:

More video from Breaking 911:

More photos:

 

Here’s an edited transcript from mayor de Blasio on the scene:

We want to give you an update about the tragedy that’s occurred here at 2nd Avenue and 7th Street. Everything we’re going to tell you is preliminary, based on the information we have at this moment. Obviously, investigation underway – a lot of information being gathered, so we’ll be giving you regular updates… The explosion here in the East Village affected four buildings. They are 119, 121, 123 and 125 2nd Avenue. The actual explosion occurred in 121, caused it to partially collapse, and 123 collapsed as well. Preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion. That investigation is ongoing. The initial impact appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work that was occurring inside 121 2nd Avenue… We have the Department of Environmental Protection hazmat operation responding to check for the environmental impact and the health impact…  A reception station has been set up at PS 63 – PS 63 at 121 East Third Street. This is a Red Cross site now to support residents of the buildings, neighbors, family members. We want everyone to know you can call 3-1-1. If you want to report someone who may be missing or if you want to check on the access of someone who has been identified so far, you can call 3-1-1. At this moment, we know of 12 individuals who are injured, three of whom are in critical condition… 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. 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.

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