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Parking Complex Manager Dies after NYC Garage Collapses

01 May, 2023 Liz Carey

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New York, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – The manager of a Manhattan parking complex is dead after the four story building collapsed Monday, crushing him and injuring six others.

Officials said the garage likely collapsed due to the building’s age and the number of cars parked on its top floor. The garage in the city’s financial district collapsed in around 4 p.m. sending ashy debris into the air when the five-story structure pancaked.

The building’s manager, Willis Moore, was in the building when it collapsed, as were the other victims. Officials said Moore was in his office when debris from the floors above him broke through the ceiling of his office. The injured workers were also in the building when it collapsed. Five of the employees were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries, while another worker refused medical attention at the scene, officials said.

Moore, whose LinkedIn profiles identifies him as the “location manager” for Little Man Parking, was scheduled to get off work at 4:30 p.m.. Officials said no formal identification has been made and won’t be until rescue workers get to his body.

Officials with the Fire Department of New York said one of the employees had been trapped on one of the upper floors and was in danger, but was rescued to a nearby roof by fire fighters.

Efforts to remove Moore’s body were stopped when inspectors determined the building was too unstable for rescuers to enter. The New York Police Department used its robotic dog, as well as drones, to enter the scene and analyze it to ensure ono one else trapped inside the building.

Preliminary reports from the FDNY indicated the collapse was likely due to the age of the building and the number of cars on the top deck. Built in 1925, the garage was originally rates for five cars per floor, reports said.
“There’s over 50 cars on the roof,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a press conference Wednesday. “The building is not structurally sound, you think about hazardous materials that are in the garage, right gas tanks, fluids, further complicated by the fact that there are possibly some electric vehicles in that garage.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a press conference on Wednesday that his office will look into the cause of the collapse, but did not indicate if there were any possible criminal charges that could result from the investigation.

As of Wednesday, fire fighters were still working to remove cars trapped inside the garage so they could demolish what’s left of the building. Work still needs to be done in order to stabilize the building in order to get to Moore, officials said.
“We are unable to get to the victim,” one official said. “It’s going to be a prolonged operation over several days.”

A commissioner with the city’s emergency management office, Zach Iscol, said the operation was incredibly complex.

Buildings officials with the city said the parking garage had active permits for electrical work on the premises, but no recent violations. The most recent violation, according to the city’s building information system, was one from 2013 for improper exit doors. Inspectors cited the company for broken stairs and loose concrete in 2009. Those issues appear to have been addressed, records show.

However, in 2003, inspectors with New York’s Department of Buildings (DOB) found concrete defects in the stairs, as well as cracks in the first-floor ceiling, spalling concrete, missing concrete coverings on steel beams and defective concrete with exposed cracks, online records show. Records do not indicate the issues were ever addressed.

New York City Hall said in a statement on Wednesday that no cracks or concrete problems were found as late as 2013. The DOB commissioner said on Tuesday there was an application for work on the building in 2010 for an automobile lift. However, he said, the DOB is looking into the issue.

The Buildings Department said it would be inspecting the buildings surrounding the garage as well to make sure they are structurally sound. Photos from the scene showed a hole punched into a wall adjacent to the garage looking into the rubble.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said there was no criminal cause suspected at the time and that the collapse appeared to be an accident.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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