Wall collapses in Midtown

May 6, 2008 4:50:02 PM PDT
A piece of a building being demolished in Midtown Manhattan crashed into another building Tuesday. At approximately 2:50 p.m., buildings inspectors responded to emergency calls regarding a damaged building at 875 6th Avenue in Manhattan.

Upon inspection, inspectors determined that a 4-by-6 foot portion of the exterior building wall had been sheered by a steel I-beam being removed during the demolition of an adjacent building at 883 6th Avenue. The building at 875 6th Avenue is a 25-story office building.

An office worker in 875 6th Avenue at the time of the incident sustained minor injuries.

The buildings department has determined the building at 875 6th Avenue is structurally sound and not in danger of collapse.

The Buildings Department has issued a full Stop Work Order for the demolition, excavation, and foundation operations at 883 6th Avenue, 106 West 32nd Street and 104 West 32nd Street. Buildings at all three of these addresses are slated to be demolished to make way for a new 48-story residential high-rise tower.

The buildings department has issued three violations to the demolition contractor, Gateway Demolition, for the following conditions:

  • Failure to conduct demolition in a safe manner at 883 6th Avenue
  • Failure to conduct demolition in a safe manner at 106 West 32nd Street
  • Failure to conduct demolition in a safe manner at 104 West 32nd Street.

    The Buildings Department also issued a violation to the general contractor, Bovis Lend Lease, for failing to provide a safety zone around the excavation site at 883 6th Avenue.

    "Today's accident is unacceptable," Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said. "Work will be halted until the developer and his contractors demonstrate how construction can safely proceed. Development cannot come at the expense of the public's safety, and today's accident shows that the city and the construction industry must do a better job at making construction sites safer."

    The Stop Work Order does not apply to remedial work to make the construction site safe and to repair damage to the 875 6th Avenue. Gateway Demolition is in the process of repairing the damaged wall at 875 6th Avenue. After the repair work is completed, the Buildings Department has ordered Gateway Demolition to submit an engineering report on the repair work and a report outlining the proposed means and methods to continue demolition at all three sites in a safe manner.