Residents have escaped the inferno which engulfed two buildings in Manhattan today.
Twelve people have been injured — three critically injured — as an explosion engulfed an apartment block in New York City’s East Village.
ABC News reports the incident was an apparent gas explosion, which caused two mixed commercial-residential buildings to burst into flames and collapse.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said gas and plumbing repairs were being undertaken in one of the buildings, and that the works had not passed an inspection earlier that morning.
Residents reportedly heard a boom, which they allege came from the sushi restaurant at the bottom of one apartment block.
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More than 250 fire fighters hit the scene to battle the blaze which spread to neighbouring buildings.
No people have been reported missing at this stage.
Local residents and workers posted photos of the dramatic scene on social media.
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