HARLEM, NY- According to Nbcnewyork.com, a church in Harlem collapsed on Thursday, November 29, 2018. The building has apparently been in poor condition for years. The first floor dropped into the building’s basement.
Witnesses report that a man riding a motorcycle out of a parking garage located behind the church became trapped after the rubble came down. A man entering the garage said that he heard the loud crash and then saw the motorcyclist trapped beneath the rubble.
According to a spokesperson from the FDNY, if the man had been just a “half-second earlier, he would have been crushed by the weight of bricks.”
First responders rescued the man who said that his back hurt following the incident. The FDNY says that the man did not sustain life-threatening injuries. Reports indicate that there were no workers inside the church at the time of the collapse.
The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development owns the building, which has been under demolition after it was “crumbling” over the course of the last year.
The city received multiple complaints about the state of the building, including ones that stated that it looked as if it were “unstable,” “leaning,” that it appeared to be “slowly imploding,” that there were visible cracks on the building’s exterior, and that there was debris falling from the building.
The city filed for the demolition permits last June and the permits were issued to the Department of Buildings (DOB) on November 9.
The DOB responded to the scene of the building following the “partial collapse.”
Collapsing buildings are most often a risk to construction workers who are charged with demolition operations and working around unstable structures.
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