One person was killed, and five were injured in a parking garage collapse on Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan’s Financial District. According to NBC News’ reporting, the incident happened around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and videos showing the damage quickly went viral.
Firefighters arrived and immediately began treating the injured before sending rescuers into the structure to check for survivors. Five people were rescued, but it became immediately apparent that the area was not habitable. The crew called for backup and sent in its newly built “robot dogs,” equipped with cameras so they could enter the facility and take pictures of what was happening inside.
Ann Street was blocked off between Nassau and William as first responders dealt with the incident’s aftermath and did their best to evacuate as many people as possible.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has mourned the loss of life and praised the work of first responders.
At a press conference held soon after the collapse, Adams praised technology’s role in the search and rescue mission. He specifically mentioned the robot dogs and drones used to complete the task without risking human lives.
Fire Department of New York Chief John Esposito has stated that all six victims were current or former building employees. Four were sent to the hospital in “stable condition,” but sadly, one did not survive after first refusing medical attention.
According to Esposito, the decision to evacuate the firemen and send in the robot dog was made after reports indicated that the building was still collapsing; thus, this was a perilous operation for firefighters.
Despite being constructed in 1926, the building did not begin its use as a parking garage until 1957. The first-floor ceiling had a crack that caused a violation in 2003, and in 2009 there was a “loose piece of concrete in danger of falling,” both of which led to the same citation.
Whatever the case, Mayor Adams said that the problems had been fixed and that “there were no open violations on the structure.”