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Surveillance video shows dust filling street as Brooklyn building partially collapses

Video shows aftermath of partial building collapse in Brooklyn
Video shows aftermath of partial building collapse in Brooklyn 01:48

NEW YORK -- Scaffolding toppled onto cars in Brooklyn as the roof of a vacant building partially collapsed on Sunday, launching a New York City Department of Buildings investigation. 

Surveillance video shows red dust filling the street in a matter of seconds as scaffolding at 143 Roebling Street in Williamsburg fell to the ground. 

"Loudest boom I've ever heard" 

Chase Winovich opened his door on Sunday evening to find Hope Street covered and the scaffolding across the street completely collapsed. 

"We hear the loudest boom I've ever heard in my life," said Winovich. "I see the scaffolding all over the place. If it's to prevent stuff from falling down onto it, you gotta make sure it's sturdy enough that the whole thing doesn't collapse." 

Leftover dust and scattered bricks were all over the closed-off section of the street Monday. DOB called the incident a parapet collapse. A parapet is a protective wall along the edge of the roof.

Amanda Ferrer's parked vehicle was one of the only ones spared from any obvious damage.

"We've just been waiting for them to tell us that it's OK to tow our car," she said. 

Building in a state of disrepair for years, neighbors say

Neighbors said the building has been in a state of disrepair for years and it wasn't the first time something like this happened. The building has been vacant for years, according to the city. 

DOB issued a penalty to the property owner in 2022 for failing to maintain the building after the facade parapet wall fell onto the sidewalk.

"It's been years, maybe five, four years that this scaffolding has been up. So obviously there's been a lot of issues," said Ferrer.

As a result of the collapse, DOB said they ordered the property owner to immediately hire a professional engineer and submit a full engineering report on the status of the building, and make plans for repairs.

DOB engineers, building management and their engineers were working to determine if additional sections of the parapet need to be removed for safety. 

DOB issued a violation to the owner for failing to maintain the building. A hearing was scheduled for July 24.

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