The building at the corner of Court and Union streets in Carroll Gardens came crashing down at around 4:30 p.m. in the tony neighborhood. A three-story Brooklyn building housing a gym collapsed Wednesday afternoon, leaving one person injured and a massive pile of rubble and debris strewn on the street.
Officials said that the building – home to Body Elite Gym for the past 36 years – was vacant at the time of the collapse.
But the man who was injured was inside the building’s second-floor and was able to escape with minor injuries, FDNY officials said.
He was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, sources said.The NYPD was seen using K9 units to search the wreckage in the immediate aftermath of the collapse.
FDNY and Department of Buildings crews will be sifting through the rubble overnight in search of any other potential victims, FDNY Fire Operations Chief Thomas Richardson said at a Wednesday night press briefing.
Carroll Gardens resident Vincenza Rizzuto, 35, who was nearby at a traffic light on Carroll and Court streets, said she heard the collapse.
“It was a huge boom and then people screamed and smoke was all over,” Rizzuto said, adding, It felt like the ground shook.“It was the loudest boom or bang I ever heard,” said Rizzuto, who quickly called 911. It almost sounded like something exploded.”
The building had been under construction and scaffolding had been up on the Union Street side.
A partial stop work order was issued at the building on June 10 for a construction violation related to three construction workers involved in masonry demolition, according to the city’s Department of Buildings.
City records say that a roughly 20-foot by 15-foot masonry brick wall had been “dangerously bulging over public sidewalk. No protection provided.”
Timothy Hogan, DOB’s Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement, said Wednesday night the agency was still working to determine the cause of collapse.
But Hogan noted “that there were some issues with the facade.”
“There was a bulge in the exterior wall and that was one of the things that they were here about the stop-work order, because of the way they were performing the work,” Hogan said.
Hogan said the remains of the building will be demolished.
Robert Alimena, 58, who has owned the gym since it opened, told The Post that the building’s landlord was having cosmetic brick and stucco work done on the exterior of the building.
“There was nobody in the building,” Alimena said, noting that the gym – which takes up all three floors of the building – had been closed due to the coronavirus crisis.