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Building collapses, burns in New York's East Village

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - A large residential apartment building collapsed and was engulfed in flames on Thursday in New York City's East Village neighborhood, critically injuring at least one person, authorities said.

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - A large residential apartment building collapsed and was engulfed in flames on Thursday in New York City's East Village neighborhood, critically injuring at least one person, authorities said.

There was no immediate information on the number of possible injuries, but local television footage showed people being carried on stretchers from the brick structure.

Local television also reported a large explosion at the scene and an adjacent building also on fire.

One person was injured critically and other injuries were possible, said the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).

The FDNY said the building was located at Second Avenue and East 7th Street in Manhattan's East village, a neighborhood of small businesses, restaurants and apartments.

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"We heard a big sound, then three or four people fell on the street," said Shameem Noor, a cashier at Veselka, a restaurant about a block away.

"People were running and screaming," he said. "There's a big fire on the roof and black smoke."

Reports of the collapse came in shortly after 3 p.m., the FDNY said. The FDNY declared it a seven-alarm fire.

Witnesses said it was a five-story apartment building.

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