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Verizon Building Roof Collapses In Jersey City

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JERSEY CITY (CBSNewYork) — A Verizon facility where workers keep their vehicles partially collapsed during Thursday’s powerful winter storm.

A section of the roof at the one-story maintenance garage fell at around noon at 169 Pamrapo Avenue, crushing the building’s cinder-block walls as well as at least a dozen vehicles were crushed inside, officials told CBS 2.

Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney three workers were at the facility at the time of the collapse but no one was hurt.

“There were no injuries, and it appears the weight of the heavy, wet snow caused the collapse,” Gierczynski said.

While police and officials believe all occupants were accounted for in an initial sweep of the building, they were using dogs Thursday afternoon to make sure no one was trapped inside.

The site of a collapse in Jersey City on Feb. 13, 2014. (credit: Janelle Burrell/CBS 2)

The site of a collapse in Jersey City on Feb. 13, 2014. (credit: Janelle Burrell/CBS 2)

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, the collapse left a towering mound of cinder blocks, wood and metal.

Residents who live nearby said they were startled when they heard the defeaning sound from the collapse.

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“I heard a big boom, and the house shook, and I told my son, ‘What happened?'” Susie Ortiz said. “I called my neighbor and I said, ‘You heard that? Everybody’s OK?'”

“My boss dropped me off at the corner, and I started running ’cause I thought the house was on fire,” said another neighbor, Osvaldo Medina.

Employees said the part of the building affected was a storage area and a garage space for company and personal vehicles that stretched back about 200 feet.

“I was pretty amazed that this much damage was done, and that it was collapsed so easily,” said Jim Minarick, the building’s maintenance supervisor.

Neighbors and Verizon employees both said they were grateful no one was injured.

“God is so good,” Ortiz said. “He’s so mighty. And I could imagine the families worried about these men here.”

Engineers were working to determine whether the rest of the building is safe for employees.

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