MANHATTAN (PIX11) — FDNY officials deployed a robot dog to search for survivors and assess the damage in the wake of a partial building collapse in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday.
It’s been a little over a week since New York City officials unveiled three new high-tech policing devices including a robot dog, which was an essential tool in the sudden collapse.
“Thank God we had the robotic dog that was able to go in the building. This is ideally what we talk about, not sending a human being inside a building that’s unstable,” Mayor Eric Adams said.
Rescue crews responded to the scene on Ann Street, between Nassau and Williams streets, around 4:15 p.m. after reports that people were trapped inside. However, the FDNY had to pull out its members due to structural stability concerns.
Instead, the FDNY used a spotted robot dog to help survey the area and drones to get an aerial view of the building.
“Our robotics unit happened to be nearby. They were on scene very quickly,” FDNY Chief of Operations John Esposito said. “They were able to give us a video inside and then we’re able to fly drones inside to conduct an assessment and conduct searches.”
Adam Cohen captured video of the FDNY’s robot dog at the building. He told PIX11 News his family was evacuated from their home and his car is on the roof of the collapsed garage. Cohen said it remains unclear when they’ll be able to return home.
“My wife was screaming, like something went down … she said they (first responders) were banging on the door, saying to evacuate the building,” Cohen said Wednesday morning. “I got home to see chaos. There were hundreds of cops and firefighters on the streets. Things shut down for blocks and blocks and blocks.”
The parking garage had at least four open building violations dating back to early 2003, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.