At around 3:30 pm Monday afternoon, news of a partially collapsed residential building in The Bronx flooded all of New York City’s news gates.
As reported by The New York Times, “initial photographs and videos show rooms at the corner of the 46-unit building exposed, almost as if the walls had been ripped off. Evidence of the lives disrupted by the partial collapse peeked out of the tangle of metal and wood.
According to locals and building records, there have been questions about the building’s safety for years.
Just last month, the Department of Buildings issued a $2,400 fine to the building’s owner for “deteriorated and broken mudsills” at the base of scaffolding that wrapped the property. The damage could affect “the structural stability causing a potential collapse,” the fine read.
FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh spoke to Eyewitness News following the incident, reporting that there is still an active search for anybody who may possibly be trapped inside and crews are in recovery mode. Firefighters are using their hands to go through the rubble, as well as using drones and robotics, and canine units. Kavanagh says that firefighters are trained for these situations using rubble piles at the academy.
“We don’t know if anybody’s trapped under there, hopefully not,” FDNY Chief John Hodgens said. “But what we’re doing is we’re tunneling in that debris pile as safely as we can. Firefighters right now, we’re in a dangerous position. We don’t know what caused this corner of the building to come down and we don’t know if any more of it’s going to come down, but we’re searching for life and that’s our main objective at this time.”
Through the rubble and remnants of the collapsed corner of the building, it is apparent that most of the rooms affected are bedrooms.
Residents of the building were being directed to a service center at P.S. 390 nearby, where they would find shelter for the duration of the event. The MTA also brought in four buses to keep residents warm.
The collapse is also affecting business and commutes.
Metro-North Hudson line service was suspended in both directions between Grand Central and Spuyten Duyvil, but has since resumed with delays. Two bus routes are experiencing detours, the Bx40 and Bx42.
The ground floor has several stores, including a market at the corner of West Burnside Avenue and Phelan Place.