Powerful Winds Cause Building Floor Collapse On 4th Avenue; No Injuries Reported

535 4th Ave partial floor collapse
A partial floor collapse took place at 535 4th Avenue on Sunday, April 3 after high wind gusts. (Photo by Thom Widmann)

A building currently under construction at 535 4th Avenue (between 14th and 15th Streets) sustained damage on the top floor this morning, according to the FDNY and several witnesses. FDNY received the call at approximately 7:47am on Sunday, April 3.

An FDNY spokesperson reported there were no injuries due to the incident, however a full building evacuation did take place at 155 15th Street next door to the construction site.

535 4th Avenue floor collapse
535 4th Avenue floor collapse. (Photo by Jeff Bush)

The damage took place when a series of concrete forms collapsed, causing significant damage to the top floor. FDNY reports that no one was on the sidewalk at the time of collapse.

“​The construction safety net was blowing wildly in the wind,” says witness Jeff Bush, a neighbor who lives on 14th Street close to the damaged site. “The winds at the time that I was there were [over]  20mph. Broken lumber and netting hung precariously over 15th Street at the corner of 4th Avenue.”

535 4ve Avenue
Rendering of the building currently under construction at 535 4th Avenue. (Image via Commercial Observer)

Bush observed police diverting traffic and pedestrians around a 4-block perimeter of the damaged building. Area residents were allowed to move their cars from the immediate danger zone.

As of 11am, FDNY is still on the scene. The Office of Emergency Management is currently on site and have taken over the investigation, an FDNY spokesperson said. They have already contacted the construction company.

Brownstoner reports that Aufgang Architects — designers of the damaged site — are also working on the mixed-use building under construction at 470 4th Avenue (between 10th and 11th Streets).

While 4th Avenue development — nicknamed the “canyon of mediocrity” — has undergone criticism over design, housing costs, and clogged streets, construction safety may join the issues that have made the changes in the thoroughfare so controversial.

This is the second weekend in a row that the FDNY has been called to the immediate neighborhood. On Saturday, March 26, a two-alarm fire gutted a residential building and spread to the residence next door at 236 and 234 12th Street (between 4th and 5th Avenues).

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