NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A father and son are hospitalized after a partial building collapse in the Bronx.
A 20-foot-by-30-foot one-story structure collapsed shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday at 2601 Westchester Avenue in Westchester Village.
“I heard the explosion, I turned around, the building was already coming down,” witness Doroteo Sanchez told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa. “It looked like a war zone. I thought a bomb hit it or something.”
Sanchez was one of several Good Samaritans who rushed to look for survivors after a structure attached to B & L Auto Repair came down, trapping the owners in the basement.
“We heard them yelling, ‘We’re over here! We’re over here!’” Sanchez said.
“We started grabbing the big parts you see on the ground off gently because, at that time, we didn’t know where they were,” the victims’ longtime friend Bill Sanfardino told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
Authorities are working to determine the exact cause of the partial collapse.
Sanfardino said as he was trying to rescue the men, he smelled gas, which might be linked to the cause of the explosion.
r inside the building, an air compressor that exploded, and it took down the walls,” FDNY Chief William Seelig said. “That’s under investigation.”
Officials believe the two men were the only ones inside the structure at the time of the collapse, but crews sifted through debris and search dogs scoured the scene as a precaution.
The victims — a 63-year-old father and his 36-year-old son – are recovering at Jacobi Medical Center and are in stable condition. Both expected to survive.
“It’s scary. They could’ve been killed,” said Sanfardino. “They’re amazing people. It’s a shock to everybody.”
Service on the No. 6 train was briefly suspended because of the incident.
Con Edison and building inspectors are examining neighboring structures as a precaution, WCBS 880’s Miller reported.
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