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Parking Garage Collapse Leaves 1 dead, 5 Injured in Lower Manhattan

A parking garage in lower Manhattan’s Financial District collapsed on Tuesday, killing one worker, injuring five, and crushing cars as concrete floors fell on top of each other. 

The six workers in the building at the time of the collapse have all been accounted for. One was killed, four were hospitalized in stable condition, and the other refused medical attention, according to CBS News New York.

The garage caved in around 4 p.m. on Ann Street in the Financial District. The four-story building “pancaked…all the way to the cellar floor,” Department of Building acting Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik said.

The incident is under investigation and will be determined by a forensic engineer. Initial findings show the weight from the number of cars parked on the roof deck, in addition to the age of the building, contributed to the collapse.

Firefighters were pulled back from the site after searching the building on foot because the building continued to collapse. The fire department used a robotic dog and drone instead to search the building as it was an “extremely dangerous operation” for the firefighters and the building was “completely unstable,” according to Mayor Eric Adams.

The parking garage has six open building violations, three of which were classified as “hazardous”, New York City Department of Buildings records show. The three violations date back to 2003, 2009, and 2013.

The two earliest hazardous violations describe “defective concrete with exposed rear cracks” and “broken & defective fire stairs,” a “loose piece of concrete in danger of falling @ various locations, and a “defective exit,” CNN reports. The 2013 violations focus on improper access to exits. 

“It lasted for 10 seconds, which was surreal,” Zach Powers, a freshman from Pace University, told CNN. “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.”

Two buildings of Pace University near the collapsed garage have been evacuated, and classes were canceled. Students were allowed to return to their residence hall Tuesday night.

The Red Cross is on the scene to help those who have been displaced.

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