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Sources: Weight of cars, age of structure were likely factors in NYC parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan

Sources: Weight, age were likely factors in deadly NYC garage collapse
Sources: Weight, age were likely factors in deadly NYC garage collapse 02:42

NEW YORK -- Sources tell CBS2 investigators suspect the weight of cars and the age of the structure were likely factors in Tuesday's deadly parking garage collapse in Lower Manhattan.

The city is also investigating whether any of the four open property violations at the property contributed.

One of the open violations is from 2003, describing missing or defective concrete in at least part of the garage.

Mayor Eric Adams was asked Wednesday why the open violations weren't resolved.

"Yesterday, I had a conversation with the acting commissioner and I shared with him, we need a complete analysis of open violations, all the problems," Adams said.

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Back in 2003, the city noted that violation as a "failure to maintain building -- hazardous."

In another open violation from 2009, the city described "loose piece of concrete in danger of falling at various locations."

The Department of Buildings says over the next couple years, the owner did have at least some repair work done, but the city never received Certificates of Correction, necessary paperwork to close the violations.

"A building that is well-designed and maintained wouldn't let this happen, right?" said Luis Ceferino, an assistant engineering professor with New York University.

He points out the garage was built in 1925.

"You had a different standard of construction, obviously. There could be deterioration there. Obviously, you could have cars now on different floors that could have added weight to the building that it wasn't designed for," he said.

Paperwork was filed in 2010 to install 34 auto lifts at the garage -- that's heavy machinery used to elevate cars.

In 2011, the city says the interior maintenance of the building "was in good condition."

"Again, there needs to be some investigation to see actually what was the capacity of the building and whether it was exceeded because the decision to add more weight," Ceferino said.

We've requested a complete inspection history from the city on that property. The District Attorney is also investigating whether any laws were broken.

We've tried to reach the building owner but haven't heard from them yet.

This is not the first time the city's been concerned about parking garages. The city actually passed a law in 2022 requiring parking garage owners to hire a licensed engineer for inspections once every six years. 

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