UPDATE: 5:50 PM EST
During a press conference Thursday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blast appears to have been caused by plumbing and gas work inside the building.
That building partially collapsed in flames, affecting four others nearby, the Associated Press reports.
An investigation continues.
An explosion in Manhattan’s East Village caused a building to collapse Thursday, injuring 12 and sparking a blaze in the busy New York City neighborhood.
At least three of the injured are in critical condition, CNN reports. Authorities fear there may be others trapped in the leveled building.
The first two floors of a red-brick building at the scene appear to have crumbled, images from the scene showed. The collapsed first floor appeared to house a Japanese restaurant; the building next door, with a shop specializing in French fries on the street level, was ablaze. Towering flames and plumes of black smoke were rising from the building, which includes both apartments and businesses. Emergency personnel could be seen taking the injured away on stretchers.
The cause of the blast is unknown at this time. At least 200 firefighters were on the scene as of late afternoon Thursday.
Rescue efforts continue. Story developing…
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty