What you should know
- A multi-storey parking lot collapsed in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday. The tragic incident killed one worker and injured five others.
- Much of the immediate area remains closed Wednesday. Officials expect the investigation to take time, given continuing concerns about the safety of what remains of the building. Video from what appears to be a nearby building captured the aftermath of the disaster.
- A look at the building infractions associated with the garage, which had been there for Anne Street since 1957, shows that most issues have been resolved over decades, and the few that were still listed as open were quite old.
NEW YORK – The area around the parking lot that collapsed in Lower Manhattan a day ago, killing one worker and injuring five others when concrete floors collapsed on top of each other, remains closed on Wednesday as investigators meticulously begin to sort through the debris to piece together what happened.
Wary of the danger of another collapse, officials warned their investigation was likely to be exhaustive and lengthy. A source familiar with the matter confirms that doorbell camera footage is being reviewed as part of the investigation.
A look at the building infractions associated with the garage, which had been there for Anne Street since 1957, shows that most issues have been resolved over decades, and the few that were still listed as open were quite old.
The shocking moment unfolded in the financial district on Tuesday mid-afternoon, sending clouds of debris into the air in 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.
All of the victims were in the building working at the time of the collapse, investigators said. The identity of the deceased has not been released. Four others were taken to hospital and are expected to recover, while another worker refused to receive medical treatment at the scene. One of them got stuck on an upper floor and the fire department (FDNY, for its acronym in English), took him to a safe place on a nearby roof, investigators said, which could prevent a greater tragedy.
The firefighters first had to withdraw from the building due to the risk of instability.
The FDNY sent a newly added NYPD robotic dog (known as the Digidog) into the building to scan the place and make sure no one else was trapped. Drones were also used for additional vantage points and assessments.
Alfredo Acosta informs us of the scene.
The New York Sheriff’s Department uses the garage to park vehicles, New York Sheriff Anthony Miranda said. All members of the department are counted.
No one else appears to be trapped in what remains of the building, investigators said.
what happened in the Anna Street?
The building obtained its certificate of occupancy in 1957, a certification that allowed five or more cars to be on each floor, and images of the collapse on Tuesday showed more than five cars on each floor, with dozens seen among the collapsed rubble. This is one of the factors taken into account in the investigation.
According to building officials, the building had active permits related to electrical work on the premises, although there were no recent active violations.
The most recent violation, according to the city’s Building Information System, shows an issue with inadequate exit doors in 2013. In 2009, inspectors noticed broken stairs and loose concrete in several places.
Nearly 20 years ago, in 2003, DOB inspectors discovered more concrete defects on the stairs, as well as an unsafe condition with cracks in the first floor ceiling, spalling concrete, caps of missing concrete on steel joists and defective concrete. cracks, according to city records online. While the issues dated back nearly two decades, records did not indicate whether they had not been resolved before the collapse.
The Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, (DOB, for its acronym in English), said on Tuesday at the scene that there was also a request for work on the building in 2010 for the car elevator. He did not explain why the open violations might not have been resolved if the authorized work had taken place, and the DOB is investigating the matter.
The Buildings Department also inspected the surrounding buildings to ensure they were in good structural condition after the collapse. A photo from inside a nearby building showed a hole drilled in an adjoining wall right next to the garage, overlooking the jumble of cars, concrete and dust.
New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the structural collapse appeared to be a tragic accident and no crime was suspected at this time.
Witnesses described a terrifying moment in a quiet location.
Cristina Navarrete updates us from Manhattan.
Streets near the site of the collapse were closed off as rescuers continued to monitor the area. DOB staff will continue to investigate the cause of the collapse. The FDNY said that due to the extreme instability of the building, the investigation should be an extended operation.
The MTA said the collapse also caused delays on several subway lines in the affected area. The 2/3/A/C/J lines were operating at slower speeds due to the collapse, the agency said.