Security camera video has surfaced showing the powerful explosion that rocked an East Village tenement yesterday afternoon, bringing down three buildings and sparking a devastating fire. ABC 7 obtained the video from a business on East 7th Street; the footage at first shows an ordinary East Village spring afternoon, with pedestrians walking dogs and chatting on the sidewalk, followed by the massive explosion ripping out of 121 Second Avenue:
If you'd prefer not to sit through the cruise ship ad that kicks off the video above, ABC 7 has helpfully uploaded part of it to Vine:
19 people were injured by the blast and ensuing fire, which consumed three mixed-use buildings on the northwest corner of Second Avenue and East 7th Street. Preliminary reports indicate that the explosion occurred after day laborers working in the basement of one of the buildings struck a gas main.
Yesterday one local resident told us, "I was working from home, the explosion shook my building and it scared the crap out of me. The bottom couple floors collapsed on the sidewalk in a pile of debris...The flames were 300 feet high."
Another witness told the Post, “I heard a loud explosion, just a very loud, vibrating boom. People who were on the sidewalks and even people on the opposite side of the street were hit with debris. People were bleeding from the head, the face, their hands." Harrowing and graphic cell phone video by Steven Koziol shows the tense moments following the explosion: