SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Snow could be to blame for the collapse of a parking garage in Secaucus, New Jersey.
A massive hole opened up where a parking deck should be, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
The driver of a now-toppled yellow snow plow truck was removing snow from the top floor of the garage early Saturday morning when he suddenly found himself in the middle of the accident.
“We imagine that it was the weight of the snow,” building manager Mike Seeve said.
The plow operator was on the top level of a three-floor garage used by guests and staff at a hotel and workers at a nearby office building.
Investigators say concrete beneath the plow gave way so suddenly that he didn’t have time to run for cover.
The snow plow driver was taken to the hospital but is now at home recovering, Carlin reported.
If this had happened on a weekday, when the garage is often full, it’s possible there would have been multiple injuries instead of one, Carlin reported.
“We are delighted no one was hurt other than the person that was in the truck and we understand that he is okay,” Seeve said.
Several cars were parked in the structure at the time and at least one car is described as a total loss, Carlin reported.
Some hotel guests said they could see their cars but couldn’t get to them just yet.
“I am kind of on this side, I am trying to get up there before any other collapses. I’m staying the entire weekend,” Frank Buon said, who is visiting from Philadelphia.
“It’s very scary. I’m glad my car wasn’t there,” Daisy Santiago said.
As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, the entrance to the garage was blocked late Saturday night with the ground floor empty of cars.
“We are going to continue to respond quickly in cooperation with other property owners here to make sure that everything is taken care of and that everything is operational and that something like this does not happen again,” Seeve said.
Carlin reported seeing a tow truck bring some, but not all, of the cars out of the garage.
It’s unknown at this point if the hole can be patched or if the whole structure needs to be torn down and rebuilt.