FINANCIAL DISTRICT, Manhattan (PIX11) — One person was killed and multiple people were injured when a parking garage collapsed in Lower Manhattan Tuesday, officials said.
The collapse happened around 4:15 p.m. on Ann Street, between Nassau and Williams streets in the Financial District.
Six workers were inside the building at the time of the collapse, according to John Esposito, the FDNY’s chief of operations. One worker died, four other workers were hospitalized in stable condition, and one worker declined medical attention, Esposito said.
One of the workers was trapped on the upper floor and had to be rescued, authorities said. “He was conscious and alert and moving around, calling us. He just couldn’t get down,” Esposito said.
Officials believe all the workers have been accounted for, but searching continued into the evening to ensure no one else was in any of the crushed cars.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said police have no reason to believe that the incident is anything other than a structural collapse. The New York City Department of Buildings is investigating the cause of the collapse.
Citizen app images showed vehicles piled on top of each other after part of the roof collapsed. Acting Buildings Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik said the building was “all the way pancaked, collapsed all the way to the cellar floor.”
Rescue crews responded to the scene after reports that people were trapped inside, but the FDNY had to pull out its members due to the structural concerns of the building.
“This was an extremely dangerous operation for our firefighters,” Esposito said. “We had firefighters inside the building conducting searches. The building was continuing to collapse. We made the decision to remove all our people from the building.”
Instead, the FDNY had members on tower ladders as well as a robotics team with drones and a robotic dog assisting in the search.
Mayor Eric Adams’ office asked the public to avoid the area due to the emergency response. Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was in close contact with Adams and local officials.
Pace University, which is located near the parking garage, evacuated students from nearby buildings at 33 Beekman St. and 161 William St. The university canceled classes and was working to find alternative accommodations for students.
“I and my roommate always talked that it did not look safe, so it was bound to happen sooner or later,” said Pace University student Charlie Franklin. “Hopefully they can get their stuff together and Pace can give us accommodations for tonight.”
Jadess Speller, another Pace University student, said the collapse “felt like an earthquake — like the earth opened up inside, like that’s how violent it was.”
The parking garage collapse also caused subway delays, according to the MTA. 2/3/A/C/J/Z trains were running at slower speeds near Fulton Street.
PIX11 News reached out to the Department of Buildings for additional information but did not immediately receive a response.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.