6 stories of scaffolding collapse outside Queens school

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- There was a close call outside a school in Queens Friday morning, with strong winds believed to be responsible for a scaffolding collapse.

The incident happened outside PS/IS 116 on Wren Place in Jamaica just after 7:30 a.m., with the fallen scaffolding bringing down power lines.

A 40 mile per hour wind gust is being blamed for taking down six stories of scaffolding, right as students were starting to arrive and residents were getting into their cars to head to work.

Jason Austin heard the scaffolding come down outside his front door.

"I was sleeping in my bed, and I just heard a loud noise," he said. "Woke up and noticed that the scaffolding across the street from my house was actually falling in the middle of kids coming to school."

The first level remained sturdy, protecting the sidewalk, but the scaffold curled onto the street, landing on the wires and knocking out power to about 65 customers.

"FDNY immediately responded, and we have started to remove the scaffolding from the building," the Department of Education said in a statement. "Students are safe, and there was no disruption to instruction."

No injuries were reported, and no cars were damaged. Con Edison worked to restore power to the area, but the street remained closed.

More than 50 students who were in temporary trailers on that side of the school were moved inside, and dismissal is held on the opposite side of the building.
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