By Ray Sanchez
NEW YORK (CNN – March 26, 2015) — An explosion rocked a heavily traveled section of Manhattan’s East Village on Thursday, injuring several people and leveling parts of a building, authorities said.
At least one injury from a seven-alarm fire is critical, a fire department spokesman said.
Some people may be trapped in the blaze, a law enforcement source said.
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, 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. At least 200 firefighters were on the scene.
The official FDNY Twitter account described it as a “major building collapse.”
The cause of the blast was unknown.
It comes just over a year after two buildings in Harlem collapsed following a gas leak, killing eight people and injuring dozens. The building were served by a 127-year-old gas main.
CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this report.