NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It all came out of nowhere – a wall collapsed on a sidewalk in Bushwick, Brooklyn Thursday and crushed a passerby.
CBS 2 has obtained exclusive surveillance video of the accident, which happened around 11 a.m. at the building under construction at the corner of Flushing Avenue and Humboldt Street.
It was a typical, busy morning on Flushing Avenue until the collapse happened. The entire façade of the building came crashing down, leaving the 32-year-old woman trapped beneath wood, concrete and steel.
On the right side of the screen in the exclusive video, the woman is seen trying to get away, CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported. But she was not fast enough to outrun the falling wall of debris.
“She tried to run across the street and didn’t make it, so it banged her in the back of her head,” said witness Tiara Soto. “She tilted and fell over into the middle of the street.”
“She fell down immediately, and two minutes later, there was a lot of cops; a lot of firefighters, but she was laying on the ground,” added witness Christian Molina.
“She was breathing, but her eyes were closed,” added witness Victor Rose.
Rose narrowly missed being hit himself. He ran over to her, called 911, and tried to help.
“I was asking her, like, ‘Are you all right?’ But she didn’t answer — no response,” Rose said.
Cellphone video that Rose and others shot in the aftermath showed the woman lying immobile on the ground as paramedics tried to save her. Eventually they loaded her carefully onto a stretcher.
The collapsed building at 801 Flushing Ave. is vacant and under construction, and fire officials said crews were working on the inside when the metal roll-down gate and front façade toppled onto the sidewalk without warning.
Witnesses said crews were doing demolition on the front facade when it collapsed.
“From what I observed from across the street, it was demolition from the top,” said witness Louis West. “And basically before it capsized, they they tried to pull it back and it was too much pressure; it was too heavy for them.”
It took more than half a dozen men several hours to move the metal debris off the sidewalk.
The owners of the building did not want to speak on camera. But they said all the proper Department of Buildings permits were in place, and they were working late Thursday afternoon to fix what went wrong.
A stop work order has been issued by the Department of Buildings, as well as a warning not to enter the site.
The Department of Buildings issued violations, including failure to safeguard during construction, and failure to institute and maintain safety equipment.
The department also issued a stop work order and a vacate order.
While crews continued securing the site on Thursday night, residents in the neighborhood were uneasy as they walked by late Thursday.
“Anything related to construction, I’m staying away from,” Louis said. “I’m not walking nowhere near.”
The woman who was injured was taken to Kings County Hospital Center in serious condition.
You may also be interested in these stories: