On Tuesday, disaster struck Lower Manhattan as a parking garage collapsed, claiming the life of one person and trapping multiple others. Disturbing images from the scene showed vehicles on the concave roof.
Mayor Eric Adams, who spoke during a press conference at the location, stated that the building was completely unstable. The victim was taken away on a stretcher, with five other people suffering injuries. Four of them were hospitalized, while one refused medical attention. All of them had been employed at the time of the collapse.
Reports say that debris plunged into a lounge area for the garage staff. The Fire Department of New York’s Chief of Operations, John Esposito, said that a worker was stuck on the upper floor, remaining conscious and mobile while calling for help. Firefighters were able to bring him down across the roof of another building.
After the collapse at 4:30 p.m., it was assumed that all of the workers had been accounted for. The Fire Department sent drones and a robotic dog to survey the area, as they searched for any people who could possibly be inside the crushed cars.
The building had active violations, as well as active permits, going as far back as 2003. Among them, a “hazardous” violation from 2003, as well as a violation from 2009 that showed crumbling stairs and loose pieces of concrete that were in danger of falling. The entire four-story building was affected, with some cars sinking to the basement. The FDNY had to evacuate the building as it kept crumbling.
Pace University, in the vicinity of the collapse, canceled its classes for the rest of the day. A student in the area said that he heard a loud noise, like an “explosion”, before seeing a lot of smoke. The 22-year-old who works near the location said the collapse “came out of nowhere”.
The New York City Sheriff’s Office, which uses the deck to park its cars while working in Manhattan, confirmed that all of its personnel were accounted for.