Part of Eight-Story Manhattan Building Collapses

NEW YORK –– Part of an eight-story building collapsed Thursday in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. At least 21 people were being treated at the scene for injuries, fire officials said.

At least two people were carried out on stretchers and placed into ambulances.

Officials said it appeared some type of explosion collapsed some floors of the building. Federal officials said there was no sign of terrorism.

"It was just a really loud noise," said Stuart Markowitz, who runs the education department at the nearby Apex Technical School. "Some of our windows did get blown out."

All students in the school were safely evacuated, he said. Initial reports that the collapse took place at the school were not true, he said.

More than 100 firefighters were called to the scene at 19th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

The school offers training in such fields as welding, automotive repair, refrigeration, air conditioning, and appliance technology.

© 2002 The Associated Press