Passersby injured by debris from empty building collapse in Brooklyn

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 14, 2015 3:10 PM

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Passersby suffered injuries from falling debris on Tuesday when an empty building collapsed in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Fire Department of New York said "a few" people had non-life threatening injuries from the collapse in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood at about 2:30 p.m.

The injured were being evaluated and taken to nearby hospitals if necessary, she said, adding there was no definite count of people hurt.

The four-story building was unoccupied, according to the city's Office of Emergency Management, and the fire department said it was believed to be slated for demolition. An adjacent building, which was occupied, was evacuated.

Eyewitness Tracy Blake, 35, owner of the nearby Dynasty's Hair Salon, said she was crossing the street from the building when it caved in.

“I heard a loud creaking sound," she said. "It sounded like something was being knocked down...It tumbled down so fast, and dust went everywhere."

Firemen were hosing down the rubble, but there was no sign of fire, she said.

The building was home to a beauty supply store until last year, Blake said.

(Additional reporting by Edward McAllister and Brendan McDermid, Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Sandra Maler and Lisa Lambert)