18 Hurt When Partial Building Collapse Sends Debris Onto Bus In Harlem

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Part of a building, which was under demolition since July, collapsed Tuesday morning, striking a city bus at 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond: Inspectors Had Previously Been Called To The Site

The brick facade of a 2-story building at 305 West 125th Street collapsed and sent debris onto scaffolding protecting the sidewalk surrounding the site around 9:15 a.m. Part of that scaffolding collapsed as well.

Demolition worker David Gibbs was working at the time of the incident.

“The elevator shaft — there was a guy in there right, and he was working in there.  There was one on the top in the scaffold.  So all of a sudden, the wall gave out and it fell down and he ran out, and then the other part of the wall fell to the street,” Gibbs told CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Debris from the collapse struck the back of a Bx 15 bus which had 30 passengers on board, 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reported. Slattery reported that at least 9 people aboard the bus suffered minor injuries.

The scene of a scaffold collapse - New York, NY - Sep 20, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The scene of a scaffold collapse - New York, NY - Sep 20, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Officials said a total of 18 people were injured, including a mix of passers-by, workers and passengers. Two police officers also suffered minor injuries trying to rescue people.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones with witnesses

“We heard a noise, a slow, like thunderous sort of noise.  It was a slow noise first, and then you heard the big ‘whoosh,'” bystander Ed Edwards said.

Gisselle Ubeda, an employee of the nearby Rainbow store, described the scene.

“It looks terrible,” Ubeda said. “Part of the building has fallen.”

Witnesses said the front of the building started leaning forward amid the demolition, and tipped over.

A complaint was filed against the building earlier this month but the Buildings Department did not find any violations.

125th Street remains closed causing the M60, M100, M101, AND BX15 bus lines to be rerouted.

  • Vasos

    I was on the M60 Friday like 9:30 on the same spot
    and the bus was surrounded by a cloud of construction dust
    perhaps from the same site. (A half disassembeld brownstone).

    Scaffolding is lame for such a job. They have to close the street.

  • roger


  • Jim

    Wow. I surprised nobody was killed.

  • Dale Auburn

    John Montone was interviewing people earlier about a putrid smell at the 125th Street & St. Nicholas Avenue subway station, which is right under this building. Related??

  • Kay Kay

    Thank God there weren’t any life threatening injuries THIS time! I just believe that with ALL of this gentrification going on in our community, and NONE of us speaking up about it there are bound to be more situations within the neighborhood. This is just another example of the community talking back! Think about it! Example 1: Uptown 145th St -155th St; 8th Ave over to Convent Ave-NO GAS or WATER for weeks due to a Water Main Break & Gas Explosion on W. 152nd St & St. Nicholas Ave- plenty of NEW BUILDINGS around tho and NONE we can afford. Example 2-126th St & 7th Ave-Facade Collapse of 4 stores that have been there for years & have stood the test of time- construction on the state building across the street, MORE NEW buildings up the block, AGAIN NONE we can afford. Example 3: Water Main break 110th St. & 8th Ave, SEVERAL NEW structures there as well; ALSO NONE we can afford to live in. When are we gonna wake up ppl and reclaim OUR neighborhoods? With all this construction going on the city is disturbing our inner structure as they PUSH us out! WAKE UP!

    • MikeD

      Pay your bills

  • Union Sq.

    Pakistani Demolition Construction Company: We are now hiring!!!

  • frank sinatra

    I love New York and WCBS.

  • Steve

    These pictures are worthless. Where is the building? Where is the scaffolding?

    • CSI

      Yet you all still read it and comment on all stories.

    • SFB

      Uh…they collapsed…did you read the article?

      • Anson


  • Kei

    Wow. I walk under there often when I go and come home from work.

    • NYC


      • Billy

        ..but no so much now.

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