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Man Seriously Hurt in Harlem Apartment Collapse

By  Julie  Shapiro and Jesse Lent | October 16, 2012 6:18pm | Updated on October 16, 2012 8:07pm

HAMILTON HEIGHTS — A Harlem man was seriously hurt when his bathroom floor buckled beneath him Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

The 58-year-old man had just stepped into the bathroom in his second-floor apartment at 555 W. 151st St., when the floor collapsed just before 5:30 p.m. and he went hurtling down to the apartment below, the FDNY and NYPD said.

"Most of the bathroom came down from the second floor onto the first," FDNY spokesman Jim Long said. "The rest of apartment is intact."

The victim was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where he was in critical condition, the FDNY and NYPD said.

Felipe Pena, 19, a resident of the building, said he heard a loud crash and ran over to the first-floor apartment where the victim landed. 

"The old man was on top of everything [all the debris]," Pena said. "I said, 'Pop what happened?' He said, 'Felipe help me.' He had a piece of wood [stuck] in his side. He said, 'Felipe, I'm going to die.'"

The six-story building, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, is commercial and residential on the ground floor and residential above.

Permits filed with the Department of Buildings last week called for interior renovations of several apartments, including new drywall, cabinets and appliances on the first floor.

Long said it did not appear the collapsed second-floor apartment was under construction. However, witnesses said workers were renovating the first-floor apartment below it.

The building's manager declined to comment.

The Department of Buildings did not immediately have information about the incident.