Brooklyn partial roof collapse sends metal crashing onto cars, scaffolding; no injuries reported

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, May 20, 2024
Part of vacant building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn collapses
Lucy Yang has the details on the collapse from Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A partial roof collapse in Williamsburg sent metal crashing down onto cars and scaffolding below.

It happened Sunday just after 4:30 p.m. on 143 Roebling Street between Metropolitan and Hope in Williamsburg.

A portion of the roof collapsed onto the sidewalk shed, according to the FDNY.

"It was kind of a glacier, so a little bit fell. Then a little bit -- then a little bit more," said Eyewitness Colm Dillane.

There were no reports of any injuries.

The portion of the roof that gave way was the parapet -- it is what lines the roof to keep people on top safe -- except in this case, it became te danger zone.

A shower of bricks hit the fire escape before making a hard landing on the sidewalk shed below -- the scaffolding collapsing under the weight.

"A lot of debris is on the fire escape. The fear is all that debris on the fire escape could pull the fire escape down, pull wall down," said FDNY Assistant Chief Mike Meyers.

More than 100 firefighters responded in what they call a 'major collapse matrix,' which includes building experts and medical teams. No one was trapped under the debris field -- or inside the building, which is vacant.

Records show a history of problems at the location. In July of 2022, another section of the parapet fell, which is why the sidewalk shed was ordered. In the two years since, official say no work was done to fix the aging building.

"We've already assessed there's a chance of further collapse, so that's why we said we want street closed," added Assistant Chief Meyers.

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