A New York office building that housed several apartments collapsed in Chinatown on Thursday night after an explosion led to a fire and the subsequent folding of the structure. Reports from the scene of the collapse indicate that dozens were injured, including firefighters. Three of those injured were hospitalized in serious condition.
According to fire officials, several pesticide canisters, or "bug bombs," were found in the first floor rear apartment and may have exploded, but the cause of the blaze hadn't been determined. Investigators were also looking into a possible gas leak.
Fire Chief John Bley told the Associated Press that when first responders arrived on the scene, they opened the door and could see the fire in the back. Other witnesses who were present in the building at the time of the incident described what sounded like a “bombing.”
Resident Jinjoo Yang, who lives next door, told the AP, "I heard a big sound. It sounded like something big fell from the next floor. I felt the whole floor shaking."
The American Red Cross said it provided emergency housing for 28 adults and three children left homeless after a vacate order was issued for the building. The fire was brought under control shortly after 1:30 p.m.