Bushwick construction accident forces out residents

August 16, 2012 4:22:52 AM PDT
More than three dozen people are out of their homes after nearby construction compromised the safety of two Brooklyn buildings.

Authorities say 418 and 420 Melrose Street in Bushwick had to be evacuated Wednesday when large cracks formed in the buildings.

It's a four-story, top-to-bottom crack that forced authorities to evacuate people from a pair of apartment buildings on Melrose Street in Bushwick.

"The fire department was there already. They got inside the apartment. I was not there. The kid was sleeping. Then they said five minutes, you got to go down," said Barbara Logo, an evacuated tenant.

"It's an older building. There may have been cracks there before. We don't really know. We just know what we see now today," said James Campbell, FDNY.

Investigators could not point to specifically what caused the crack at 420 Melrose.

But tenants told Eyewitness News it grew worse over time and started not long after the excavation and pile driving at the neighboring property, the future home of another four-story building.

"Last weekend was the worst I felt, on a Saturday. The entire building was vibrating and shaking to a point where I had to call 911 and I called 311 because it was really unnerving," said Mariesa Conmay, evacuated tenant.

A spokesman at the Department of Buildings told Eyewitness News inspectors have paid numerous visits to the construction site after multiple complaints from neighbors.

In fact, the city has issued five violations there, including one for failing to monitor vibrations.

Architecture consultant Matt Brogan called 311 last night to report the damage in his apartment.

We have an exposed brick wall and we noticed 1 inch to 1 and a half inch gaps right where that brick wall goes against our interior wall separating, so, in the windows, large very," Brogan said.

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