Tragedy Strikes Lower Manhattan as Parking Garage Collapses

One person died and five were injured in a parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan. Emergency crews searched for any other victims, while Pace University evacuated nearby buildings.

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon for Ahmed Scott when he arrived at the parking garage to collect his car after work. What he found instead was a disaster in the making. The garage had collapsed, with vehicles tumbling into a heap of sedans and SUVs.

The scene was chaotic, with people nearby describing a fearsome rumbling, followed by screams. To Jadess Speller, a student at nearby Pace University, the collapse “felt like an earthquake — like the earth opened up inside, like that’s how violent it was.” Other students described seeing cars falling inside the building.

Emergency crews believe there were six workers inside the building on 57 Ann Street at the time of the incident. One of the six was killed, and four were transported to the hospital in stable condition. Another patient refused medical attention, according to FDNY officials.

While all workers have been accounted for, the search continues for any other victims. Firefighters initially deployed to the scene were conducting a search of the building but due to the unstable nature of the structure, crews were pulled out, and a robotic dog and drone were deployed to continue the search.

“The building was continuing to collapse. We made the decision to pull all of our people from the building,” said FDNY Chief James Esposito.

The cause of the collapse is unknown at this time, however officials said it is believed to be nothing more than a structural collapse. The victim who was killed remains in the garage while officials devise a plan for safe recovery.

The garage, a four-story structure built in the 1950s, caved in around 4 p.m., a few blocks from City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. Pace evacuated an adjacent dorm and classroom building and canceled all evening classes as it assessed the buildings’ safety.

Officials don’t know the cause of the collapse, but police do not believe there was any sign of foul play or terrorism. Trains 2, 3, A, C, J, and Z will be running at slower speeds near Fulton Street as emergency crews work to respond to the collapse, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

This tragedy has left the community in shock and mourning. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.