Lower Manhattan residents, students in 'shock' after 1 killed in parking garage collapse

WABC logo
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Residents, local students shaken by deadly parking garage collapse
Residents on Ann Street in Lower Manhattan were shaken Tuesday night after a parking garage collapsed, killing one person and injuring several others.

LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Residents and students in Lower Manhattan were rocked by the collapse of a multi-level parking garage that left one person dead and several others injured.

Residents on Ann Street were very shaken. They weren't able to return home and for those who are also customers of the garage, they lost their vehicles and their sense of safety.

One neighbor said her whole apartment shook like an earthquake and rattled for a long time.

"I'm in shock. I'm in shock," said Sandy Imhoff who lives next door to the collapsed parking garage. "What can I say?"

There is a gaping hole in Imhoff's apartment. She's lived here 40 years and now cannot go back into her second-floor loft. She remembers the construction noise next door being louder than usual before the garage collapsed.

"They had been doing work, pounding on the floor," Imhoff said. "It was getting a little ridiculous this time. They were really pounding."

Samir Hashem owns the garage next to the collapsed site.

"They said no, I cannot get in. We have to inspect the building first, take a couple days to a week," Hashem said.

He says that his garage stores food carts.

"Everybody now is accusing me, where's my car I want to go to work? Where's my car? And I don't have no answer," he said.

Students who live at the Pace University dorms at 33 Beekman Street were able to return to their rooms Tuesday night after getting the all clear from the New York City building department.

The sights they saw from their dorm room windows were something out of a movie, one student said.

"We opened the window and everything was collapsed. It was all debris, smoke, cars were sinking," student Sophia Vuksanaj added.

Vuksanaj and her classmates are attending classes virtually Wednesday. One university building remains closed.

Christine Lu says her building was shaking as the garage floors buckled and sent a shower of cars into a mangled heap. Her SUV was parked on the roof where it tipped onto its side.

"It was pretty scary but now we're just a little more scared about the condition of the guys," Lu said.

The Cohen family's Nissan, also on the roof, is now its resting on its nose.

"No. I didn't think the floors were going to collapse," garage customer Adam Cohen said. "Pieces flake off on the car from the ceiling but that's kind of normal wear and tear on a building. We didn't think it was going to collapse."

Jim Slattery parked his car at the garage minutes before the fatal collapse.

"I arrived at 4 p.m., parked the car, walked around the corner to the café to grab a cup of coffee, took about 10 minutes, hung out" he said. "I see a whole bunch of activity in the street. Had no idea there was a collapse."

For a long time, customers of the garage, who know the workers by name and see them every day, they are feeling the loss of a neighborhood friend.

ALSO READ | Manhattan parking garage previously cited for exposed cracks before collapse

Kristin Thorne has more on the open violations against the Lower Manhattan parking garage that collapsed.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More Manhattan news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.