— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) March 26, 2015
The blast occurred near the corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark’s Place around 3:20pm, according to police. The apparent cause of the explosion was a gas leak inside a five-story building at 121 Second Avenue, near 7th Street, officials told the New York Daily News. The 8,460-square-foot property burst into flames and partially collapsed; the fire spread to neighboring building 123 Second Avenue, The Real Deal reported.
Of the injured, three people were in critical condition, the Wall Street Journal reported. No deaths have been reported yet.
Hundreds of firefighters and emergency workers swarmed the scene, searching the rubble for victims, while Con Ed crews shut off gas mains and stabilized the area. By 5:15pm, 250 firefighters were at the site of the blast.