Manhattan building collapses after explosion, fire; 13 injured

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – At least 13 people were injured when a 5-storey building in Manhattan’s East Village collapsed on Thursday after it caught fire following a suspected gas explosion at a ground floor restaurant.

More than 255 firefighters and emergency service workers battled the blaze at 121 Second Avenue and rushed the injured to area hospitals.

Two civilians who suffered serious burns were rushed to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center, according to authorities. Two more civilians, including one who was knocked unconscious by the explosion, were taken to Bellevue Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Three people suffered minor injuries and were treated at the Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital. Four people were treated at the scene.

The explosion was heard around 3:20 p.m. at the Sushi Park restaurant on the ground floor of the building. Investigators suspect a gas leak was ignited.

A diner at Sushi Park told police he heard an explosion inside the restaurant’s kitchen. Day laborers also said they had been working on a gas line there.

A witness said the explosion sent debris flying into the air and hitting pedestrians on the street one block away from the Second Avenue building.

The explosion was followed by a fire that spread to another building.

Flames shot into the sky from the roof of the structure. The fire reached the seventh-alarm, according to the Fire Department of New York…. MORE

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