What you should know
- Authorities investigating the Lower Manhattan parking lot that collapsed on Tuesday, killing one worker and injuring five others when concrete floors collapsed on top of each other, say early findings point to the building’s age and the number of vehicles parked on the rooftop terrace contributed to the disaster, authorities said on Wednesday.
- Officials expected the investigation to take time, given ongoing concerns about the integrity of the remaining structure.
- the garage of Anne Street it was first built in 1925, although it did not obtain a certificate of occupancy until 1957. The number of cars on the roof terrace and the building are likely contributing factors.
The body of the only person who lost his life in the Manhattan parking lot collapse this week was found in the rubble on Wednesday evening, a 59-year-old man who managed the five-story building that collapsed in Anne Street. The victim was trapped inside his office on the second floor, according to authorities and sources.
Investigators have yet to officially identify the victim, but sources confirmed it was William Morris, the manager who went missing after Tuesday’s collapse. Several other workers were injured but are expected to recover.
Crews had to remove up to 90 vehicles strewn across the sagging upper deck, amid tons of broken concrete, to reach Morris. They described a delicate operation and it was expected that it would take time to bring the building down safely.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has opened an investigation into the collapse of the century-old structure, a spokesperson said, as building inspectors work to identify a cause. Early findings indicate that the age of the building and the number of vehicles parked on the rooftop terrace contributed to the disaster, authorities said on Wednesday.
Enterprise Ann Parking, which operated the garage at Anne Streetsaid he was cooperating with the authorities.
“This is a tragic event. We are devastated by the loss of one of our long term employees and our hearts go out to his family and those injured in the accident,” spokesman Jeremy said. Zweig: “We are grateful to all of the first responders who responded quickly to those affected, and we appreciate their courageous work.
As heavy machinery began tearing down the building and filling the area with thick clouds of dust, some regular customers returned to see if their cars had been recovered and pay their respects to Morris.
“Every morning I would see him,” said Ahmed Scott, one of the parking lot customers. “When I was leaving that morning, the last time we saw each other, we smiled, we greeted each other. We knew we would see each other in the afternoon, same place, same time.
The shocking scene unfolded in the financial district on Tuesday mid-afternoon, sending clouds of ash debris into the air Anne Street when the top floor of the five-story structure collapsed. Calls for help could be heard on video by an eyewitness, while footage from a nearby building captured the aftermath of the disaster.
what happened in the Anna Street?
Two decades ago, city inspectors cited the owner for failing to properly maintain the building and found at the time that there were “cracks and flaws” in the concrete. A more recent inspection in the fall of 2013 showed no other structural issues, according to an update provided by the Building Department on Wednesday.
Starting last year, parking lots in parts of Manhattan were required to undergo structural inspections and report to the city by the end of 2023, with additional inspections at least once every six years. City officials said garage owners have yet to comply.
“There’s an investigation into what exactly happened here and we’re making sure there’s something we can put in place to prevent something like this from happening,” Mayor Eric Adams said. .
Theories abounded, and officials said they would consider all possible explanations, including the possibility that the structural integrity of the old parking structures was being undermined by today’s heavier pickup trucks.
The mayor said this might be a matter worth investigating.
“We live in a new environment and we have to constantly analyze and update everything from the weight capacity to the number of cars that can fit in there,” Adams said.
DOB said that in 2009, the owners of the garage were cited for failing to maintain the building due to cracks and defects in the concrete. Officials ordered the owner to hire a professional engineer and correct the violations. The owners began to comply in January 2010, submitting requests to carry out structural repairs and install 34 car lifts.
In November 2011, an inspection found the interior maintenance to be “in good condition”. But city officials said they never received the required correction certificates for previous violations, even though the owner had paid all associated fines.
A total of six nearby buildings had evacuation orders pending inspection, according to city officials.
The investigation is ongoing.
Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak and Karen Matthews in New York, and Maysoon Khan in Albany, New York, contributed to this report.
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