A massive explosion and fire leveled a building in the East Village of Manhattan this afternoon, with at least three people critically injured. Several others had lesser injuries after the blast at the five-story building near Second Avenue and Seventh Street. Investigators think a gas leak inside a ground-floor restaurant called Sushi Park caused the explosion, reports the Daily News. Nearby buildings were damaged, too. DNA Info reports that one partially collapsed and two others were damaged by fire.
“I heard a loud explosion, just a very loud vibrating boom," one witness tells the New York Post. "People who were on the sidewalks and even people on the opposite side of the street were hit with debris." (Read more Manhattan stories.)