gas explosions

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9/11 Artist Puts the East Village Explosion On Canvas

"St. Marks Place" by Lola Saenz. (Photo courtesy of Lola Saenz)

If you look carefully at “St. Marks Place,” the above painting by artist Lola Saenz inspired by the gas explosion on Second Avenue, you can see two faces, one screaming or gaping in astonishment, the other with its head quietly lowered. The painting encapsulates the shock and despair felt by East Villagers as they witnessed the sudden crisis that took two people’s lives.

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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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