As many as 30 people were hurt when an explosion caused a partial building collapse and ignited a massive fire in the East Village on Thursday afternoon, law-enforcement sources told The Post.Flames were engulfing two buildings at the scene and firefighters were spraying water on the blaze, as thick smoke billowed over the neighborhood.
The destruction near the corner of Second Avenue and East Seventh Street was reported shortly before 3:30 p.m.
Cops in the Ninth Precinct stationhouse, about a quarter-mile away, heard a loud bang and raced over, sources said.A diner who was eating at the Sushi Park restaurant at 121 Second Avenue told cops he heard an explosion inside the kitchen there, a source said.
Day laborers also told cops they had been working on a gas line inside the kitchen, and there were 911 reports of possible gas leak just before the blast, a source said.
In addition to 121 Second Ave., the building next door at 123, which houses the Pommes Frites restaurant, was also on fire.
The FDNY initially declared a two-alarm emergency, but quickly upgraded it to seven alarms shortly before 4 p.m.