Photos: Apartment Building Collapses After Explosion in New York City's East Village

Photos: Apartment Building Collapses After Explosion in New York City's East Village Mike Segar/Reuters

A building collapsed after an explosion in New York City's East Village on Thursday afternoon. Twenty foot flames were seen on top of the building after the explosion, which is thought to be linked to a gas line issue, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I heard the shake. I smelled the smoke by the time I walked into the hall," Jesse Zeigler, 34, who lives nearby, told Newsweek.

Emergency responders arrived at the building to begin fighting the blaze and rescued the injured, a total of twelve people thus far. Neighboring tenants were evacuated from their homes for their safety. A fire of this nature can take several days to extinguish, according to a former deputy fire chief. Over a hundred firefighters are on the scene to fight the seven alarm fire, as well as dozens of police officers who have blocked off the area.

New York City Fire Department firefighters battle fire at the site of a residential apartment building in New York City's East Village neighborhood March 26, 2015.Mike Segar/Reuters
Police and firefighters surround the site of a collapsed building. The building is on fire and the FDNY is unsure how long it will take to fully stop the blaze. Ben Hider/Reuters
A New York City Police helicopter flies near billowing smoke above the site of a residential apartment building collapse. The thick smoke has limited visibility for emergency response workers at the scene. Brendan McDermid/Reuters
New York City Fire Department and Police stand by as firefighters fight a fire at the collapsed NYC building at 121 2nd Avenue. Tenants in surrounding buildings were evacuated as firefighters use multiple hoses to battle the ongoing fire. Mike Segar/Reuters
East Village Crowd
Residents stand on the sidelines of a building fire in the East Village, some of those who live in the area said they would stay with friends tonight to avoid the chaos. Ben Hider/Reuters
 New York City Police
A New York City Police officer wears a mask as he stands near the site of the building collapse and fire. Mike Segar/Reuters
A firefighter responds to the blaze. At least twelve people were injured when a building collapsed. Some of the injuries are critical, including burned airways. Brendan McDermid/Reuters
Emergency workers
Emergency workers brought in cadaver dogs to the scene of the building collapse in the East Village, where a dozen people were included. Mike Segar/Reuters