Jul 18, 2023

Car Garage Collapse in Lower Manhattan Leaves One Dead

Car Garage Collapse in Lower Manhattan Leaves One Dead - car garage

On April 18, 2023, around 4:15 p.m., a parking garage next to two Pace University buildings in the Financial District in lower Manhattan partially collapsed, leaving at least one dead. Officials on the scene said at least six parking garage workers were pulled out of the building after the collapse. Officials believe all workers are accounted for but are continuing to investigate. One worker, conscious and alert, was trapped on an upper floor, calling firefighters for help. Thankfully, the worker was rescued and taken to another building to seek medical attention. Out of the six that were found, five were injured, one refused medical treatment, and, unfortunately, one person was pronounced dead on the scene. 

People in the surrounding area were in complete shock, as one witness, Gabriel Yahoudaief, recounts their horrifying experience, "We heard a really big boom, like something out of the ordinary it was just a really loud noise like something exploded… I saw people running out quickly from the scene, it was insane. Everyone was scared. Everyone thought that was their last time being alive." Another account comes from Liam Gaeta, a Pace University student who said, "It felt like an earthquake," saying he heard "a large noise and a big rumbling, and then we all got evacuated." Other students in the surrounding area described seeing a massive plume of smoke,  hearing screams, and seeing cars falling further into the building. Since the collapse, Pace University has released emergency alerts to their staff and students that classes have been canceled and to evacuate the area.

The collapse affected the entire four-story building, with some cars plummeting to the cellar. "At this time, this building is completely unstable," Mayor Eric Adams said during a news conference. The building continued to crumble as the FDNY initiated its search, forcing firefighters to evacuate the building. Once cleared, the FDNY sent in drones to survey the garage as well as their Boston Dynamics robotic dog. According to NYC Department of Building Acting Commissioner Kaz Vilenchik, the building had active violations dating back to 2003, and there were active permits on the building, one of which was related to electrical work; however, the building was not under construction. The building is located at 57 Ann Street between Nassau Street and William Street.

Since the collapse, the New York Police Department and the mayor's office have advised people via Twitter to stay away from the area for their own safety. According to Adams, the cause of the collapse is still unclear and is under investigation; however, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there was "no reason to believe" the incident was anything other than a structural collapse. You can check back here for more updates as this story continues to break. 

In the meantime, if you believe you or someone you know has been injured or affected by the collapse of the parking garage, we may be able to assist you. Do not wait to contact us for help. For more information, you can contact our offices today by completing our case evaluation form, and one of our staff members will be in touch.