This week in Brooklyn, a four-story building that was unoccupied and abandoned collapsed. Three people were injured, according to the authorities.
The building, located in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Fulton Street, collapsed around 2:30 p.m. Floors four through two pancaked down onto the first floor. Injured were two individuals in an adjacent building and a passing cyclist who fell off his bike due to the falling debris. All were transported to Kings County Hospital Center.
Although the building had been marked for demolition late last year, that never occurred for reasons unknown. According to the Department of Buildings who had personnel investigating the collapse, there were no pending violations for the building.
An official with the Fire Department of New York declared the building to be too hazardous to search. A future controlled demolition will complete the razing. A nearby building is being evaluated for any damages, a FDNY deputy chief stated.
Subway service on the A and C lines was halted from Fulton Street to Utica Avenue, as requested by the FDNY.
An employee of a clothing store across Fulton Street stated that he heard a big noise and went to investigate. He saw passersby using cellphones to film pieces of the facade falling off. Then, he said, "Moments later the whole wall started coming down. [They] . . . started running, [and] . . . the whole building came down."
Another worker at the same shop reported that while the building had been abandoned, squatters remained until the past month or so. He added that recent work had been done on a nearby building.
Anyone who is injured in a building collapse can pursue a claim for damages from the building's owner, as well as other entities or individuals that could be liable.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Four-Story Building Partially Collapses in Brooklyn," Mark Morales, July 14, 2015