News item from the US – One Dead in Parking Garage Collapse in Lower Manhattan

The New York Times – By Ed Shanahan and Hurubie Meko – April 18, 2023

A parking garage on Ann Street in Lower Manhattan collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, killing one person and injuring five others, leaving cars stacked atop one another and rubble down to street level, officials said.

Pictures and video from the scene, at 37 Ann Street, between Nassau and William Streets, showed cars pancaked atop one another and dust rising from the wreckage. The collapse appeared to have sent rubble from the top deck down to street level.

One snippet of footage shot from a nearby rooftop showed a cloud of dust rising from below while a distant voice shouted, “Get out! Get out! Get out!” A voice near the camera responded with a single, stunned vulgarity.

Officials initially said they had reports of people being trapped, but Chief John M. Esposito, the Fire Department’s chief of operations, said at a news conference at the collapse site shortly after it happened that he believed all the workers at the garage had been accounted for.

Mayor Eric Adams, speaking at the news conference, said that four of those hurt in the cave-in had been hospitalized. He did not specify the nature of their injuries. A fifth person declined medical attention, Mr. Adams said.

The Fire Department pulled its emergency services workers away from the site soon after responding, because of concerns about the integrity of the structure’s remains. Officials said they were deploying rescuers using tower ladders to look for victims, as well as a team with drones and a robotic dog.

Rescue workers were removed from the structure over concerns about its stability.Credit...Charlie Franklin, via Associated Press
Rescue workers were removed from the structure over concerns about its stability.Credit…Charlie Franklin, via Associated Press

Buildings Department inspectors were at the scene of the collapse, which occurred around 4 p.m., an agency spokesman said. Fire officials asked that building inspectors examine the property’s structural stability, citing “shaking” and “vibrating.”

As emergency vehicles packed the surrounding streets in the immediate aftermath, workers with portable stretchers and cutting tools ducked under yellow police tape to make their way toward the pile of buckled concrete and stacked vehicles.

Cicero Clamor, 39, an art director who works on the ninth floor of a building on William Street directly next to the garage, said he had heard a rumbling and had run to the window with some colleagues. At first, he said, he thought what he had heard was an earthquake until he saw “cars collapsing on top of each other.”

“We gathered our belongings and got out of there,” Mr. Clamor said.

Ariel Stern, 32, of Manhattan, a building manager who works about a block away on Ann Street, said that her car was trapped in the wreckage. She said she had been parking at the garage for about six years and arrived there on Tuesday about 11 a.m.

“I usually leave work around 4:30 or 5 p.m.,” she said. “I’m thankful I was caught up today and I didn’t go in.”

Michael D. Regan contributed reporting.

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