Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Little Too Close to Home!

Eeks! This building collapsed right behind a friend's apartment building. I shopped in that old store before. I know few other deaf people who live within 1-2 blocks of that store. A friend went out to see for herself. She said she saw so many rescue workers at the scene this morning. Sad. I hope that each one of the 5 injuried people, including that baby, survive and heal without any permanent injuries or scars.

Below are 2 articles - one from CNN.com and one from WNBC.com.

WNBC.com below....

Baby, Four Others Rescued From Building Collapse

POSTED: 9:59 am EDT July 14, 2005
UPDATED: 7:17 pm EDT July 14, 2005


NEW YORK -- Rescuers clawing through bricks pulled a 7-month-old baby and four other victims to safety Thursday in upper Manhattan after a former supermarket under demolition suddenly collapsed, sending a shower of rubble onto the sidewalk and street.

City firefighters and police were on the scene within minutes of the collapse, which trapped the pedestrians beneath the remnants of the crumbling building at Broadway and West 100th Street. Some of the victims were possibly waiting at a nearby city bus shelter, which was crushed in the accident.

"I thought it was a terrorist bomb, people were running everywhere," said Racquel Gayle, who was a half-block away when she heard a loud boom. "I saw them pull a baby out of the debris. Everyone was pitching in and helping, but I stood frozen in fear. I've never seen anything like this."

The 7-month-old girl was expected to survive, and none of the pedestrians' injuries were life-threatening, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. One of the survivors suffered two broken arms and two broken legs, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said at a news conference near the site.

The commissioner said the building's front wall and roof came down, taking the surrounding scaffolding with it.

The cause of the collapse was under investigation, and authorities immediately ordered a halt to the ongoing demolition of the former Gristedes supermarket. Work on the site began several weeks ago as the property owner cleared the way for a controversial 31-story apartment building.

Jennifer Kumble, who lives two blocks from the site, arrived at the site a minute after the accident while bringing her 3-year-old son to day camp.

"I saw rubble everywhere," she said. "People were standing there crying. It was quite disastrous. It's amazing that more people weren't hurt."

Two 56-year-old women, along with the infant, were in stable condition at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, said spokesman Don Maxton. They were all being kept overnight for observation, he said.

The other two pedestrians were in stable condition at Harlem Hospital. Five firefighters were injured in the rescue effort, including one who suffered a broken ankle, Scoppetta said.

All 25 construction workers at the site were quickly located.

The infant's mother, reached at the pediatric unit at St. Luke's-Roosevelt, declined to speak with a reporter.

Authorities were investigating whether a piece of construction equipment loaded on the building roof earlier Thursday was the cause of the collapse, said Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster. He said the company had all the required permits.

The Buildings Department had no record of complaints or violations related to the demolition, said spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.

At least 30 fire department units responded to the collapse. The supermarket was closed in April and sold to the Carlyle Group and Extell Development.

The demolition work was directed by the Bronx-based Safeway Environmental Corp., which Extell described in a statement as "one of the city's premier union demolition companies with a long record of safe performance."

Extell pledged its cooperation with the city's investigation.

Residents have opposed the plan to build a 31-story skyscraper on the site, and have held ongoing protests -- one as recently as Wednesday night.


This is an article from the CNN.com website.

Five hurt in New York building collapse
Firefighter also injured during rescue efforts


Thursday, July 14, 2005; Posted: 12:00 p.m. EDT (16:00 GMT)


Firefighters look for victims at the scene of the collapsed building.
WATCH Browse/Search

Several injured in partial building collapse (2:15)
NEW YORK (AP) -- A supermarket being demolished to make way for a high-rise apartment building partially collapsed Thursday, injuring five people including a baby, officials said.

A sixth person, a firefighter, was injured during the rescue efforts after the 9 a.m. collapse.

"I stepped out of my building and I heard a loud boom," said Racquel Gayle, who said she was about half a block from the site. "Everything rocked. I thought it was a terrorist bomb; people were running everywhere."

She said she saw people pull a baby out of the debris, "but I stood frozen in fear. I've never seen anything like this."

The former Gristedes supermarket was being demolished to make room for a high-rise building when part of the remaining structure collapsed, Fire Department spokesman Frank Gribbon said. The 25 construction workers at the site were accounted for, he said.

It was not immediately clear how the child was injured, officials said, but some debris spilled onto the sidewalk and street. The victims were taken to a hospital. Gribbon said most suffered broken bones.

Gristedes spokesman Gerald McKelvey said the building was closed in April and sold to the Carlyle Group. Some neighborhood residents have protested plans to build a skyscraper there.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.