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Residents Return to Blast Block, But Trio of Beloved Bars Still Dark

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

Three days after an apparent gas explosion took down three buildings in the East Village, residents are finally being allowed to return to evacuated buildings on Second Avenue. The number of vacate orders in the area fell from 141 residential units yesterday to just 48 today. But at 41-43 East 7th Street, just around the corner from where the blast occurred, a trio of beloved bars remain shuttered, with their owners anxiously awaiting permission to reopen.

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Building Collapses and Seven-Alarm Fire Rocks East Village

Three buildings have collapsed and a fourth is in flames after an apparent explosion in the East Village. Nineteen people — including five firefighters — have been injured and four have been hospitalized in critical condition, the fire department said.

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

An FDNY spokesperson couldn’t say what caused 121 Second Avenue to collapse around 3:15 p.m. this afternoon, but eyewitnesses reported hearing what sounded like an explosion. Flames from the building spread first to the adjacent building (123), which collapsed after the fire went to seven alarms, and then to 119 Second Avenue, on the corner of East Seventh Street. As of 10:30pm tonight, that building had also collapsed and firefighters were battling a fourth blaze at 125 Second Avenue.

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