Here is something of interest to New York construction accident lawyers: early this morning an empty building under construction on Duane Street in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood collapsed, The New York Times and the Daily News report. Preliminary reports indicate that no one was injured in the collapse, though a car was destroyed. It is not clear what caused the collapse, though it is possible it was a construction accident.
Workers from the Fire Department, Department of Buildings and Con Edison are investigating the site. Emergency crews are still sifting through the rubble, searching for anyone who may be trapped under the debris. Buildings adjacent to the site of collapse have been evacuated as a safety precaution.
According to Notify NYC, an experimental e-mail alert system set up for downtown residents, the building was under “construction or rehabilitation.” Residents told reporters that corner braces had recently been installed on the building, but the building had been deteriorating for some time.
Eric White, a carpenter who worked nearby, told the News he and his colleagues had seen the building crumbling for weeks. “We said it was only a matter of days. We knew it.”
New York construction accident lawyers know that buildings, especially buildings under “construction or rehabilitation,” should not collapse. Though it is far too early to determine exactly what caused this building to collapse, it is highly unlikely that it was inevitable. Either those in charge of the construction or rehabilitation made some mistake or miscalculation, or the Department of Buildings made some error in authorizing work on a building that was too far gone and should have been torn down in a controlled manner.
In either case, it was incredibly fortunate that the collapse happened early in the morning before workers and residents were out near the site. Had it happened later in the day the collapse would have a whole new layer of tragedy.