The Ann Street garage in NYC unexpectedly collapsed this Wednesday, tragically killing one worker and injuring 7 others. The investigation is still taking place to determine the exact cause of the breakdown of the structure.
The garage was originally constructed in 1925 and did not receive a certificate of occupancy until 1957; the certificate at this time allowed for “five or more cars to be on each floor.” According to video footage of the garage that day there were at least 90 cars total within the 4- story building, with over 50 of them being parked on the roof level. The weight of cars has certainly increased since the 1950’s, and the weight of those in the building could have been up to a quarter of a million pound.
The building currently has 4 open violations from the city’s Department of Buildings, two of which are for non-safety related issues, and none of the violations are the clear cause of the collapse. Ann Street stayed closed for the day yesterday between William and Nassau Streets to allow first responders to begin the deconstruction of the wreckage.
Responders are taking extreme precautions due to all the dangerous materials involved in the incident including many gas tanks and likely some electric vehicles. They began by surveying the wreck with a robotic dog and a drone to assess the situation and search for signs of life. The collapse injured several of the parking attendants and killed the manager of the garage, 59-year- old Willis Moore.
The building next door to the garage is a Pace University building that has been evacuated since the parking garage collapse. The American Red Cross has also offered assistance to residents from other buildings nearby the parking garage that were asked to evacuate during the deconstruction of the incident.
The site is still unstable in the aftermath of the collapse, with vehicles and cement everywhere, the garage and the vehicles inside of it will need to be broken down and removed in smaller pieces. will likely take days to weeks to entirely clear. Officials say that this process could take anywhere from days to weeks to completely clear the site.