The operations head of the New York Fire Department confirmed that one person was killed and five people were injured in a parking garage collapse in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon. NYC Department of Buildings Acting Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik, the parking garage was a four-story construction that “pancaked…all the way to the cellar floor.”
The authorities have concluded that a structural failure is to blame. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference that the building is “completely unstable,” prompting the FDNY to utilize a robotic dog and drones to seek for occupants. It appears that everyone is safe, according to FDNY Chief of Fire Operations John Esposito.
“We’re trying to see if we can get up close to make sure that there’s nobody in those cars,” Esposito said. According to CNN, Pace University first-year Zach Powers heard a loud blast and significant rumbling while in his dorm room on Tuesday afternoon.
“It lasted for 10 seconds, which was surreal,” he said. “Then I see smoke flying towards our window, so I walk over to the window and see cars falling into a hole that’s in the middle of the garage.”
Powers claimed the scene resembled the collapse of a floor. He got out of bed and out of the dorm as quickly as he could, fearing the worst. “We got out of the building before the smoke cleared,” he said. Powers said he left his room and noticed two persons lying on the ground across the street from where the collapse had happened. He reported that fire crews were assisting them.
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Powers filmed the collapsed garage with many damaged autos from the 7th floor of his hostel. According to Esposito, four of the injured have been sent to the hospital and are in stable condition. One individual declined medical care. While awake and alert, at least one building employee was stuck on a higher level of the parking garage and unable to make his way down.
According to Esposito, he was rescued by FDNY personnel who carried him across the top of a neighboring building and brought him down to safety. Firefighters started their search on foot, but when the building collapsed more, it was decided to evacuate all rescue workers from the scene, as Esposito described it as an “extremely dangerous operation.”
Vilenchik stated that Department of Buildings engineers are still looking into the collapse by examining drone footage, building records, and neighboring structures. Before the structure collapsed, Adams said, there were no outstanding violations or complaints.
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