According to Columbia Public Safety, a building in the heart of Manhattanville collapsed this morning with a construction crew still inside. The collapsed structure, The Pearl Green building on 131st street, is located in front of the Columbia-owned Studebaker building, on the block between between Tuck-It-Away Storage and Fairway.
In a brief email, Ricardo Morales, Public Safety’s Manager of Crime Prevention Programs, reports, “Crew members have been rescued, but it appears other crew still trapped. Possible injuries.” Public Safety, Public Affairs, and Manhattanville reps have not yet responded for comment.
So far, the major demolition work for the Mville expansion has been between 129th Street and 131st street, and the projected development plan for the campus suggests that The Pearl Green building is one of the properties slated for construction work. However, we cannot yet confirm that crew working in Manhattanville this morning is affiliated with Columbia’s construction.
We will continue to update you as we learn more.
Updates: DNAinfo reports that the building was purchased by Columbia last month and is part of the Manhattanville expansion.
The New York Daily News reports that one worker was killed and two more injured in the collapse. They also have pictures of the aftermath.
Spec reports that the construction company—Breeze National—has mob connections and had gotten in trouble with the Department of Buildings twice earlier this month. The New York Times reports that the company is so corrupt that the City of New York refuses to do business with it.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time a construction worker has been killed at a Breeze National construction site. Last February, a worker fell off a different building that the company was constructing for Columbia in Manhattanville.