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‘We Are Lucky to Be Alive’: East Village Shopkeepers Vent, Ponder Next Steps

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From left, Roop Bring, Mariann Marlowe and Tarun Kundg (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Business owners affected by the Second Avenue gas explosion met Thursday morning, some of them for the first time, at Cafe Mocha, across the street from where three buildings collapsed two weeks ago today. There was talk of struggles with insurance companies, frustration over not being able to reopen, and despair over lost businesses, but many said they feel lucky things didn’t turn out worse.

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These Dramatic Videos Tell the Story of the East Village Building Collapses

Three buildings have collapsed and a fourth is still ablaze in the East Village following an apparent gas explosion this afternoon at 121 Second Avenue. As of 10:30pm, there were 19 reported injuries, with four in critical condition. You can read our initial report here. Below, we’ve gathered raw footage from the scene.

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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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