The chief of operations for the fire department, John Esposito, said firefighters responded to a call of a collapsed building Tuesday afternoon and initially conducted searches inside, but the garage continued to crumble. That was when they left and the robotic dog and drone were used to conduct searches inside.
“At this time, we believe that we have the workers that were in danger in the building all accounted for, all out of the building,” Esposito told reporters.
Police said they believe the collapse was due to structural issues and didn’t suspect foul play. Nearby buildings, including at Pace University, were evacuated.
EMERGENCY ALERT: Please be advised of a building collapse near the Pace NYC Campus. Members of the community should avoid William , Ann, and Fulton streets. Continue to monitor https://t.co/dZsdKZatHn for updates.
— Pace University (@PaceUniversity) April 18, 2023
Concrete slab floors collapsed in the four story parking garage, crushing some of the cars parked inside. One worker was initially trapped on the upper floors and unharmed, Esposito said. Firefighters rescued him, and authorities don’t believe anyone is trapped in the crushed cars. The building also has one underground floor.
Authorities are still investigating the structural history of the building, which had no open violations and was an active parking lot. The garage received its first permit to operate in 1957.