No injuries were reported in the collapse at 655 Sixth Ave., which occurred at roughly 8 p.m., the FDNY and city's Office of Emergency Management said. In all, 49 apartments, offices and retail shops were evacuated, but it was not clear how many people have been displaced. Emergency workers at the scene said some tenants will be allowed to return by Wednesday night.
"Part of the exterior facade started to crumble," an OEM spokeswoman said. An MTA bus was brought in to help transport people from the scene, which the spokeswoman described as "standard procedure."
The city's Department of Buildings was investigating the cause of the collapse Wednesday afternoon, and teams of workers were shoring-up the wall where pieces had started to fall.
"Right now they're working to stabilize it and put on whatever type of bracing might be needed," FDNY Battalion Chief Tom McCarthy said at the scene. "Right now, it's safe.... Everything's moving forward."