40 People Displaced after Wall Collapses Behind NYC Apartment Building

WNBC 4 - May 14, 2018

by Ken Buffa

A retaining wall collapsed behind a large apartment building in the Bronx on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of two buildings and displacing 40 people, officials said. Part of a 60-by-30 foot wall collapsed behind a five-story building on Bailey Avenue in the Jerome Park neighborhood, just a block from the Major Deegan Expressway, the NYPD said.

When it fell, it broke windows of a basement apartment, police said.

Deyanelin Galvez, who lives in the building, took video on her phone of a collapsed wall behind the building. On the video, she says the building had been working on the back area of the yard "and now the whole thing has collapsed."

"Outrageous," she said. "I knew that was going to happen."

No one was injured or reported missing, police said. Authorities used cameras and dogs to search the rubble.

"We have done thorough primary and secondary searches and are also knocking on everyone's door in the buildings to confirm that no one is missing," FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala said. "The reason the wall collapsed is still under investigation."

Forty people have been displaced by the wall collapse, a spokesman for the Red Cross told NBC New York. The Red Cross is providing assistance to those who were affected, he said. Tenants who live on the first floor of the building said authorities told them they won't be able to return home tonight.

The building's two fire escapes were unusable after the collapse, police said. A partial vacate order remains in effect at the two buildings affected by the collapse, a Department of Buildings spokesman said.

Retaining Wall Collapses Behind Apartment Building in the Bronx WABC-TV

KINGSBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- Authorities say a retaining wall collapsed Sunday behind an apartment building in the Bronx.

The initial call was received at 11:50 a.m. The wall, about 30 feet high and 60 feet wide, is behind a six-story building on Bailey Avenue at 231st Avenue in the Kingsbridge section.

"That building collapsed into the rear of 3138 Bailey Avenue, actually some of the concrete and debris came through a couple of windows in the basement of the building here behind me," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala.

Gala said there were initial reports that three construction workers had been doing some kind of work in the area.

Some residents were evacuated from lower floor apartments as a precaution because their fire escapes were not accessible. Residents who live on the first floor were told they could not stay there Sunday night. It is not yet known if they can return Monday night.

The FDNY says no one was injured, and police went door to door to make sure everyone is accounted for.

The FDNY and the Department of Buildings responded to the scene.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Those who were displaced were put on buses until the building is deemed safe enough for them to return.