The section of Ann Street between Nassau and WIlliam were blocked off as first responders dealt with the aftermath, doing what they could to evacuate everyone from the structure.
According to NBC News, the incident took place around 4:30 pm Tuesday, and before long footage of the damage began flooding social media.
When firefighters arrived, they tended to the injured, and sent rescuers in to ensure that nobody else was inside. Five were rescued, but it soon became apparent that conditions were unsafe for humans. Calling for backup, the force utilized its new camera-equipped "robot dogs," which were able to enter the structure and capture the scene inside.
New York City mayor Eric Adams lamented the loss of life, and thanked the first responders for their work.
At a press conference following the collapse, Adams touted the important role technology played in the rescue effort, highlighting the robot dogs and drones used to complete the task without putting human lives in danger.
FDNY chief John Esposito explained that all six casualties were working in the building at the time of the collapse. Four were transported to the hospital in "stable condition," while one refused medical attention and another sadly passed away.
"This was an extremely dangerous operation for our firefighters," Eposito said, noting that the decision to pull them out and send the robot dog in was made after reports came in that the structure was still collapsing.
The building was constructed in 1926, and had been used as a parking garage since 1957. It had received violations in 2003 and 2009 for a crack in the first floor ceiling and a "loose piece of concrete in danger of falling," respectively.
Mayor Adams clarified, however, that those had been resolved and "there were no open violations on the structure."
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