NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –– Two young boys were rushed to the hospital Friday night after being injured, one of them critically, in a Brooklyn wall collapse.
A brick and cinder block retaining wall fell to the ground in Bushwick after the young boys tried to go over the wall in pursuit of their basketball, witnesses said.
Despite being injured, Nathyiz Figueroa, 10, was able to free himself. However, his cousin, 11-year-old William Arango, was crushed and left in critical condition.
Nathyiz has since been released from Elmhurst hospital.
“They were climbing over to get the ball, because they were playing basketball. As they climbed, right, the wall fell on William,” Tabitha Figueroa, Nathyiz’s sister, told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.
“And we couldn’t lift the wall off of him, so we started calling for help and more people came — his father came,” said the victims’ uncle, Tony Martinez.
The wall was separating a vacant construction site next door. Department of Buildings inspectors said vibration from the project likely weakened the wall, causing it to collapse with no warning.
Martinez said it was a frightening few minutes. The entire neighborhood watched or helped lift the wall off of William, who was bleeding, unconscious and couldn’t move.
“Everybody froze, we tried to save his life,” Martinez said.
“I thought he was dead. I was so scared. Everybody was crying, the brothers were crying, it was horrible,” Tabitha Figueroa said. “I didn’t hear nothing until Nathyiz ran screaming ‘the wall fell on William.'”
The broken wall remained right where it fell late Friday night, while neighbors prayed for William, whom they are grateful survived the ordeal.
“It’s a miracle, it’s a miracle. It’s a lot of weight on him, a lot of weight,” Martinez said.
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