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1 Killed After Mezzanine Level Caves In At Staten Island Car Dealership

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A section of a Staten Island car dealership's mezzanine caved in Friday, killing a construction worker trapped by the rubble as three others scrambled to safety, authorities said.

It happened around 8:15 a.m. inside Dana Ford Lincoln on West Service Road off the Shore Expressway.

1 Killed After Mezzanine Level Caves In At Staten Island Car Dealership

Four men were doing construction work inside the dealership when a section of the mezzanine level caved in, 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck reported.

"Half of the mezzanine level collapsed to the ground," Fire Department Deputy Chief Pete Leicht said. The department tweeted a photo that showed sheets of metal and other material in a heap on the floor as wires dangled from a portion of a ceiling overhead.

Three of the workers managed to escape; but "one, unfortunately, was caught under the debris,'' Leicht said.

The man, whom police identified as Delfino Jesus Velazquez Mendizabal, 43, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead on arrival.

The FDNY, NYPD, Buildings Department and Office of Emergency Management all responded to the scene.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Department records indicate the owner has been building a new, environmentally friendly building on the property over the last two years, and a permit to demolish the old one was issued in September. Officials didn't immediately have information on which building was affected by the collapse.

A message left for a manager at the Dana Ford Lincoln dealership wasn't immediately returned, and an email to its owner failed.

A call to an architecture firm that applied for the demolition permit wasn't immediately returned. A woman hung up on a reporter after answering a call to a construction company that got a permit for the new building.

The dealership remains closed while the investigation continues.

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