NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 5/18/2011 10:42:21 AM ET 2011-05-18T14:42:21

Nearly two dozen people were injured when an elevator plummeted three stories in New York City on Wednesday, officials told NBC News.

"The elevator, it fell down," one injured man told a CBS affiliate. "It felt like we were jumping."

Authorities were notified of an elevator malfunction in a building on 6th Avenue in the Flatiron district of Manhattan at around 7 a.m. ET, NBC New York reported.

The freight elevator dropped from either the third or fourth floor to the basement, fire department Deputy Chief Jackie Sullivan told NBC New York.

Sullivan said that 22 people were injured. Nine were taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

"We don't know the cause," Sullivan told reporters. "They were just going up ... and then suddenly they said it just came down."

Fox News reported that the building dates to the late 19th century when it was the Siegel Cooper Dry Goods Store. It has reportedly been used as a commercial building since the 1990s after previously serving as a warehouse.

NBC News and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

Video: NYC elevator plummets 3 floors

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