Black smoke billowed through Manhattan's East Village Thursday afternoon after a fiery explosion caused two buildings to collapse.
"I just heard screaming immediately and I looked out the window and I saw debris and stuff on the street," Ryan Reilly, whose apartment is on the corner of the street where the blast occurred, told HuffPost. "So I ran downstairs and I saw people from the building covered in blood, people lying in the street."
STORY CONTINUES AFTER PHOTOS
The building where the explosion originated, located at 121 Second Avenue, was completely engulfed in flames by around 4 p.m. Two buildings -- 121 and 123 Second Avenue -- both partially collapsed, and two other adjacent buildings were also affected by the blast, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a Thursday evening press conference. Around 250 firefighters were battling a 7-alarm fire across the buildings as the mayor spoke.
A New York City Fire Department spokesperson told The Huffington Post that four people were in critical condition. A total of 19 people have been confirmed as injured.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also noted that preliminary evidence suggests the explosion was gas-related. Earlier that day, work being done on the building failed an inspection by energy company Con Edison.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more photos and details.
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