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Manhattan parking garage collapse cause still unknown after a year. Here's what the city just ruled out.

Possible cause of NYC parking garage collapse ruled out
Possible cause of NYC parking garage collapse ruled out 02:18

NEW YORK -- New Yorkers still don't know what caused the deadly parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan more than a year ago, but investigators just ruled out at least one possibility. 

James Oddo, commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings, told the New York City Council on Thursday the garage on Ann Street did not collapse because it was overloaded with cars or machinery. 

"It could support the intended loads of the cars in the garage," said Yegal Shamash, with the DOB. 

While an engineering firm hired by the city is still investigating what caused the collapse, University of Arizona engineering professor Sammy Tin said the garage's condition when it crumbled could still be a factor. 

"If they're claiming that it wasn't overloaded, they're probably basing that claim on the walls, the pillars being pristine and undamaged," said Tin. 

Violations found before collapse

Within hours of the collapse, the CBS New York Investigates team found open violations at the property from 2003 and 2009 for loose or missing concrete

The city council's Committee on Housing and Buildings asked DOB about inspections at other parking garages. Last week, we reported hundreds of garages have not completed mandatory inspections. 

"At what point can we do something about it if the compliance is so low," asked Council Member Shaun Abreau. 

"I think we're all in agreement we need to hone in on bad actors and I think we're all in agreement this agency is in need of some additional tools. We need some additional sticks. At some point issuing violations isn't enough," said Oddo. 

DOB said it's fighting for a new law allowing city to place liens on more properties with unresolved violations and unpaid penalties. 

Preventing future building collapses

The committee has also been eyeing ways to prevent future collapses in response to concerns about aging infrastructure. The hearing Thursday focused on new bills related to inspections, weight limits and more. 

The committee is considering a number of bills aimed at improving building inspections, including one announced by Council Member Pierina Sanchez of the Bronx, where an apartment building partially collapsed in Morris Heights in December. 

Sanchez's bill would create a new building inspection program and increase penalties for landlords who don't fix violations

"If we are honing in on the worst actors, then maybe we're catching things a little bit earlier. Maybe that heightened scrutiny doesn't allow them to hire whoever is more likely to make a mistake," said Sanchez. 

"All my things was destroyed, memories, things that you maybe keep for years and your entire life, and in one moment everything disappeared, and it's really hard," said Juan Ricart, a tenant of the building that partially collapsed. 

Oddo said the cause of the Bronx collapse is still being investigated, too. It was at least partially caused by a private engineer who mistakenly said a column of the building was decorative, Oddo previously said

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