MANHATTAN — Around 100 bricks rained down from an Upper West Side building on Monday after construction workers accidentally knocked off a section of the building's parapet and the debris blasted through a sidewalk shed and onto the ground below, according to city officials.
The workers were using a chipping hammer and the vibration caused a 12-foot-wide section of the parapet wall to dislodge from the building facade and to fall down on to fire escapes, scaffolding, and on the sidewalk, according to the Department of Buildings which issued a stop work order for all facade work on the site.
No one was injured in the accident, which took place at a residential building, 235 W. 70th St., around 10:40 a.m., but kids who were enjoying the day at a playground across the street were scared.
"I saw parts of the building coming down like boom! boom! boom!," said Monique Crowe, a 40 year-old nanny who was in Matthew P. Sapolin Playground taking care of a pair of toddlers when the bricks fell.
"I was scared. The kids were scared. We heard a loud crumbling noise and then there was a lot of dust. Thank God nobody was hurt."
Work is currently being done on the roof and on the parapet of the seven-story building to comply with the city’s regulations, according to a spokeswoman for Orsid Realty Corp., which manages the building.
The scaffold was hit with the majority of the bricks, which broke four apartments’ windows on the first, fifth, and sixth floors when they smacked into the building, according to the DOB.
Futura Builders Group filed a work permit in June to repair the building’s facade, according to Department of Buildings records. A Futura Builders employee working on the site said construction workers were replacing bricks near the roof when the bricks fell. The company did not immediately return requests for comment.
In the wake of the incident, the Department of Buildings also issued a violation for failure to have a paperwork concerning the structural stability of the front facade, according to the DOB statement.
On July 31, a complaint was made about the scaffold not being up to code, according to DOB records.
A stop work order was issued and the the "outrigger beams" were re-installed according to regulations, records show.