No Injuries Reported; Mostly Unoccupied Apartments Above Said To Be Structurally Sound

OSSINING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) —  A 40-foot-tall retaining wall collapsed onto a commercial property in Westchester County on Monday evening, causing an unbelievable mess and a very big headache.

No was injured, but part of Main Street in Ossining was closed, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.

The back half of a building belonging to a construction business was destroyed along with one of its concrete pumping trucks.

A 40-foot retaining wall collapsed onto a commercial property in Ossining, New York, on Aug. 13, 2018. (credit: CBS2)

The damage is major, but it was measured in dollars, not lives.

“Happy no one’s hurt. Look at it, man. Someone hurt in that man, they wouldn’t be here. But happy no one was hurt,” Ossining resident Trevon Spaulding said.

An image from from Google Maps Streetview shows the retaining wall in 2013, featuring concrete sections stamped to look like individual bricks. On Tuesday, Drone Force 2 flew over to give perspective on the enormity of the collapse.

The wall, which was also about 80 feet long, is gone, exposing the soil behind it. A worker was seen putting down a tarp to prevent erosion. Perched precariously above the mess are new apartments, less than 10 feet from the edge.

“This is unbelievable, just overwhelming to look at,” Westchester County resident Lisa Pavarini said.

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The massive retaining wall was built in 2008. The land above it sat vacant until 2016, when construction began on the apartments. They just recently began leasing, so only two units were occupied, officials said.

Engineers told Ossining Village Manager Debbie McDonnell the buildings are stable, despite being so close to the collapse.

“We’re looking for an answer on why the wall came down, but mostly we’re looking … how are you going to rebuild this and stabilize this so we don’t face this again in the future,” McDonnell said.

Engineers took soil samples and a major question needs to be asked: did all our recent rain play a role in the collapse?

A visit from an expert hired by a law firm is a sign that a flood of lawsuits is likely in the wake of this wall collapse.


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