NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A scary scene unfolded in Gramercy Park on Friday when a load of bricks came crashing down onto the sidewalk, right through scaffolding.
It happened around 9:50 a.m. on Park Avenue South and East 21st Street.
About 200 pounds of bricks fell 10 stories, crashing through the scaffolding put there for safety and right onto the sidewalk.
Construction crews are restoring the building’s façade and a bucket of bricks was being hoisted down when the metal cable snapped.
Luckily, no one was standing underneath when the load came down.
“Just heard a loud noise, and there was dust flying,” witness Denise Hamilton told CBS2’s Nick Caloway.
Sidewalk sheds are supposed to protect pedestrians from falling debris, but in this case, the bricks sliced right through.
“It obviously wasn’t constructed correctly. It wasn’t constructed correctly and whatever mechanism they had to hoist, to lower this, was not proper, and was insufficient for the load on it,” said Phil Russotti, a New York City attorney who specializes in construction safety cases.
He said pedestrians shouldn’t have to worry about heavy materials crashing onto the sidewalk, but unfortunately, they do.
“You have to be worried about any construction site because construction sites are inherently dangerous,” Russotti said.
CBS2 has been told the FDNY requested a structural stability inspection after the incident.
No one was injured in this case, but pedestrians say they’ll be keeping an eye to the sky in the future.
“For me, I’m always checking up, just in case,” one pedestrian said.
Department of Buildings inspectors issued a full stop work order at the building where the incident occurred, along with 11 violations for site-safety non-compliances.