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Police: 2 missing in New York building explosion

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- Two people remain unaccounted for following an explosion Thursday at a building in Manhattan, two New York police sources said.

Initially, others were missing, but they have since been accounted for, according to the sources.

The explosion left 25 people injured, the police sources said.

Nicholas Figueroa was unaccounted for after an explosion and building collapse rocked an East Village neighborhood. (Photo: Family/PIX11)

Nicholas Figueroa was unaccounted for after an explosion and building collapse rocked an East Village neighborhood. (Photo: Family/PIX11)

A 23-year-old man is among multiple people who have not been heard from in the aftermath of a catastrophic building explosion and fire that injured at least 25 people and reduced multiple buildings to smoldering piles of rubble by Friday morning.

Nicholas Figueroa was eating at Sushi Park, the ground floor tenant of 121 Second Ave., when it was rocked by the explosion Thursday afternoon, Figueroa’s family told the New York Times.

According to the NYPD Detective Bureau, Figueroa and one other person remain unaccounted for. Anyone who suspects they know someone who is missing or anyone who sees Figueroa is urged to call 311.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the blast appears to be tied to plumbing and gas work at the building that housed the sushi restaurant below and several residences above. A spokesman for Con Edison said it stopped plumbers working Thursday at 121 Second Ave. because they failed the utility’s inspection. About an hour later at 3:17 p.m., the building exploded. There is no record of calls reporting the smell of gas in the area, de Blasio said.

Twenty civilians were hurt in the blast, four of them critically, the mayor’s office said in a Friday morning update. Four firefighters and an EMS worker suffered minor injuries, officials said.

In all, four buildings straddling Seventh Street and Second Avenue collapsed or were damaged in the blast. One of those collapsed buildings fell overnight, hours after the initial explosion, officials said.

  • 119 Second Ave.: Collapsed
  • 121 Second Ave.: Collapsed
  • 123 Second Ave.: Partially collapsed
  • 125 Second Ave.: Damaged

Witnesses described “pandemonium,” with residents scurrying down fire escapes and pedestrians darting from the sidewalks around the building as the block was rocked by the blast that was followed by flames shooting into the sky.

Read more here from PIX11.

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