Now: FDNY responding to building collapse at 57th St/11th Ave, Manhattan. One injury reported at this time. pic.twitter.com/aRRPdLR91a— FDNY (@FDNY) February 25, 2015
HELL'S KITCHEN — A construction worker suffered minor injuries when he "rode" down a collapsing three-story building Wednesday afternoon, a fire official said.
“[The worker] actually was on the third floor when the floor pancaked out and collapsed. He rode the three stories down and walked out of the building. He was very lucky,” FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue said at the scene.
The worker was taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital where he is expected to recover.
About 60 other construction workers were inside the building located at 642W. 57th Street when a 50 by 50 feet piece of the building collapsed inward about 2:40 p.m., officials said.
“The collapse started at the third floor and collapsed down to the second then onto the first floor which, we believed, then pulled in the scaffolding and the sidewalk shed," Department of Building Commissioner Rick Chandler said at the scene.
The building is currently being torn down to make way for luxury apartments being built by TF Cornerstone, according to the FDNY and reports.
"Our preliminary investigation is that they were doing a mechanical interior only demolition…and there was a small Caterpillar on the inside, which was being used to take the building apart," Chandler said, adding that the Department of Buildings was further investigating the causes of the accident.
A school bus driver who had parked beside the building was napping in his yellow bus when bricks rained down, partially covering the yellow bus.
"It woke me up," driver Dan Campbell said. "It was a nightmare. I was frightened. It's been very scary."
TF Cornerstone did not immediately respond to calls for comment.