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Partial building collapse in Chelsea

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A building in Chelsea has been demolished Sunday morning after it partially collapsed Saturday night.

The city buildings department expressed concerns about the stability of the building at 22 west 24th Street just weeks ago.

Eyewitness News reporter Toni Yates is at the scene in Chelsea.

"It was ready to go," said Gerald Eglentowicz from Lvi Mazzocchi Wrecking. "Nobody got hurt and, as you can see, the building is down."

Demolition machine have just tapped the building's one hole and the entire facade fell. Experts say that is how fragile the building has become after years of neglect.

Several floors of a vacant four-story building collapsed on a Chelsea street around 8 p.m. Saturday night.

It happened on 24th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway.

Officials say it started with a roof collapse which caused the subsequent floors to cave-in as well.

The only thing left standing was the front of the building.

That left the facade teetering dangerously above west 24th Street so it had to be taken down immediately.

The city buildings department issued citations against the structure for failure to maintain the building exterior on October 15th.

Those citations were issued after the fire department asked for a check on the building's stability.

Fortunately no one was injured as the rubble fell to the sidewalk and street below Saturday night.

Officials say if the collapse happened earlier in the day, it could have been a much more serious situation.

That building was more than 100 years old.

Crews will spend most of the Sunday morning and afternoon clearing the wreckage, so while the work is being done, west 24th between Sixth Avenues and Broadway will be shut down.



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