NEW YORK (PIX11) — A Lower Manhattan community was in disarray Wednesday after a parking garage collapse a day earlier left one person dead and several others injured.
The collapse happened on Ann Street, between Nassau and Williams streets in the Financial District on Tuesday afternoon, leaving the building pancaked. Many people who heard the collapse said they experienced shaking and rumbling and rushed out to see what had happened.
“We heard a big boom. And we thought it hit our building. So we went to check the windows, and we immediately saw smoke. Cars were sinking – it looked out of a movie. It was horrible,” said one witness.
The FDNY had to rely on the help of a drone and a robot dog to search for anyone who may have been trapped in the building. The 100-year-old garage had four open violations against it, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.
Witnesses at the scene watched as the building continued to crumble throughout recovery efforts.
Pace University students also rushed out to see the aftermath, as their school is next door. On Tuesday night, all students were evacuated as officials worried about the building’s safety and structural integrity.
“This bag is all I have. My laptop, clothes, medication, everything I had to leave behind,” one student said.
As of Wednesday morning, classes had resumed at Pace University except for those held at 161 William Street; faculty and staff who work in that building have been told to work remotely.