POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Crews conducted a desperate search and rescue Monday after a woman became trapped in the rubble of a pair of collapsed buildings in Dutchess County, New York.
Authorities say a seven-story vacant building collapsed into a three-story occupied building shortly after 4 p.m. near the corner of Cannon Street and Academy Street in Poughkeepsie.
Rescue teams were attempting to reach 43-year-old Rotanya Hargrove, who was trapped in the debris.
“I hope she’s alright,” her brother Robert said. “We’re praying, the family is praying and we’re here.”
Cici Patterson lives on the same block and was evacuated.
“I went to the back window, thats when you seen all the debris, the bricks, and you could hear this woman screaming for help,” she said.
Emergency responders couldn’t rescue Hargrove right away for fear of further collapse. Crews had to cut timber to shore up the building while others worked to clear debris from her legs.
They managed to pull Hargrove out of the rubble after four hours. She was finally freed and taken away on a stretcher to a local hospital.
Police say a strong thunderstorm that made its way through the area is most likely to blame for the collapse.
Members of the American Red Cross responded to assist any residents affected by the ordeal.