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2 buildings collapse following explosion, many injured

Reports say more than 200 firefighters converged to battle the resulting blaze that affected four buildings.

 

An explosion has led to the collapse of 2 buildings in Manhattan, New York, leaving at least 19 people injured.

According to reports, Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no reports of missing persons, but noted that the situation was fluid.

BBC reports that its believed work was being done to the building's gas utilities before the blast.

The explosion then triggered a fire in a building that housed a sushi restaurant, which quickly spread to adjacent buildings, official said.

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Eye-witness, 28-year old Ben Mackinnon told reporters that "the explosion was big enough that the door of the cafe blew open."

The buildings on Second Avenue at East Seventh Street are near New York University and the Washington Square Park area.

Meanwhile, officials remain concerned about the area's air quality, and told residents to keep their windows closed.

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