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Cause of Hudson Heights Wall Collapse Still Unclear

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 11, 2013 8:21am
 A collapsed retainer wall caused 100 people to be evacuated from their apartments early Saturday morning on Pinehurst Avenue and Cabrini Boulevard in Hudson Heights. 
Collapsed Wall Evacuates Hudson Heights Buildings
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HUDSON HEIGHTS — Two days after a collapsed retaining wall temporarily forced more than 100 Hudson Heights residents from their homes, officials are still unclear on what caused it to fall.

A spokeswoman from the city Office of Emergency Management told DNAinfo New York that the cause is still under investigation.

The wall, located between several apartments on Cabrini Boulevard and Pinehurst Avenue just below West 181st Street, collapsed early Saturday morning, forcing the evacuation of 35 apartments.

The OEM spokeswoman said that all except for three families have been allowed to move back into the building.

Two of the displaced families are still working with the American Red Cross to find shelter, she added.

Officials at the Red Cross and the Department of Buildings did not immediately return requests for comment.

On Monday, entrances to the rear of 70, 72, 74 and 76 Pinehurst Avenue were blocked off with police tape and monitored by fire guards, who were hired after the DOB issued an order to the building's landlord to ensure the safety of residents until rear fire escapes could be installed.

A fire guard on the scene said that repair work had not yet begun because of Monday's rain.

Addo Nikovic, a building superintendent at the Fort View Apartments, which sits next to the wall but was undamaged, blamed the collapse on the age of the wall and on Friday's intense rain.

"It's an old wall. It's over 100 years old," Nikovic said. "Thankfully, no one died."