Twenty-five people are hurt and two are missing following the terrifying explosion and fire that rocked New York City's busy East Village on Thursday. Firefighters spent hours battling the seven-alarm blaze, which spread to multiple buildings and caused two to collapse, destroying homes and businesses in the heart of Manhattan. The fire was still burning as of 7 a.m. Friday. Of the injured, four are in critical condition, four are firefighters, and one is an EMS worker, according to NY1. Early reports suggested the toll of those wounded from the disaster could have been much higher. But, as residents of the neighborhood swarmed emergency shelters, local news site DNAinfo said two people person are still unaccounted for. According to his family, Nicholas Figueroa, 23, was having lunch at a sushi restaurant in the building where the explosion took place. He has not been heard from since. Figueroa was on a date at the time; his companion escaped and the New York Times reported she was being treated for her injuries. The other missing person has not been identified. Early evidence still points to a problem with the gas at one of the buildings as the cause of the explosion; construction work on plumbing and gas was being done at the building that exploded and partially collapsed Thursday afternoon.
"Our thoughts and our prayers are with every one of [the injured] and their families," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday night. "And, of course, we are praying that no other individuals are found injured, and that there are no fatalities, but that is an ongoing effort that FDNY and all other first responders are involved in." De Blasio will update the public on the fire and the search for the missing at a press conference Friday afternoon.
This story will be updated with any breaking news.