No one suspected foul play when the US building collapsed near Pace University in lower Manhattan.
A four-story parking garage building in the United States collapsed in New York City on Tuesday, killing at least one worker and injuring five others, authorities said.
Emergency crews deployed the robotic device after firefighters were pulled back from the collapsed building due to precarious conditions. The robots continued to check the scene for more casualties, but authorities said they believed everyone in the building was unaccounted for.
No one suspected foul play. “We have no reason to believe this is just a structural collapse,” city police Chief Keechant Sewell told reporters.
Video footage from the scene, cited by CBS and ABC television news affiliates, showed rescue operations underway, with multiple vehicles stacked on top of each other in crumpled concrete slabs.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene, four others were taken to an area hospital with injuries, and a sixth person refused medical treatment, said John Esposito, Chief of Fire Operations for the New York City Fire Department.
He described the six as workers who were working in the parking lot when it collapsed.
“This is an extremely dangerous situation for our firefighters,” he told a news conference later in the afternoon.
As a precaution, students, faculty and staff at Pace University, an academic institution near lower Manhattan, used the parking lot, authorities said.
“This building is completely unstable,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams told reporters.
Witnesses said the collapse was swift and without warning.
“It all happened so fast,” said Thai Nguyen, 35, who lives in Chinatown and is the manager of the nearby Kollective Klub. “Our store is two buildings from the parking lot and there’s a hotel next to it. People are running in and asking if they can take refuge in our store.”
“It felt like an earthquake,” Pace University student Liam Gaeta told the ABC News affiliate. He said he heard “a loud noise and rumbling and then we were all evacuated.”