In lower Manhattan, a blast has partially collapsed a building, injuring at least eight. The New York Fire Department told media that the explosion and fire were under control. Firefighters are now working on evacuating the area, reports the New York Post’s Kirstan Conley.

Manhattan Blast

Details On The Manhattan Blast

The blast happened in a building on Pike Street in Chinatown. The building where the Manhattan blast occurred was five stores tall and contained both commercial and residential areas, according to the fire department’s Twitter feed. According to officials, the blast happened around 12:45 p.m. local time. At least part of the building caught fire and collapsed after the blast. About an hour after the blast occurred, the fire department tweeted that the fire at the building was under control.

The New York Daily News’ Thomas Tracey reports that the explosion happened in an apartment on the building’s first floor. Within seconds, the ceiling of the first floor reportedly collapsed. The cause of the blast is still unclear, although officials reportedly told the WSJ that it may be a gas explosion.

Injuries In The Manhattan Blast

At this point not many details are available about those who have been injured, although at least three of the eight have been injured seriously. CBS New York reports that firefighters were seen moving a man from the building and placing him into the bucket on their rescue ladder. The man reportedly did not appear to be conscious.

Two of the victims with serious injuries were reportedly taken via ambulance to the burn center at Presbyterian Hospital in New York. According to CBS New York, three of the victims are listed in critical condition. Also one firefighter suffered a minor injury.

Emergency workers were busily preparing the other four for transport as well. The Wall Street Journal’s Pervaiz Shallwani reports that there were five victims treated for smoke inhalation. They injuries were not considered to be life threatening. At this point it’s still unclear exactly how many people were injured or whether the five smoke inhalation victims are in addition to the six mentioned in other news reports.