1 dead after roof falls at dealership
New York — A car dealership’s roof partially collapsed and a section of a mezzanine caved in Friday, killing a construction worker trapped by the rubble as three others scrambled to safety, authorities said.
Officials were investigating what caused the collapse at around 8:15 a.m. at a Staten Island Ford dealership, where city building records show a construction project has been underway for some time.
“Half of the mezzanine level collapsed to the ground,” Fire Department Deputy Chief Pete Leicht told reporters. The department tweeted a photo that showed sheets of metal and other material in a heap on the floor as wires dangled from a portion of a ceiling overhead.
Four workers were inside, and three safely escaped. But “one, unfortunately, was caught under the debris,” Leicht said.
The man, whom police identified as Delfino Jesus Velazquez Mendizabal, 43, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead on arrival.
A message left for a manager at the Dana Ford Lincoln dealership wasn’t immediately returned, and an email to its owner failed.
The city Buildings Department responded to the collapse but had no immediate information.
Department records indicate the owner has been building a new, environmentally friendly building on the property over the last two years, and a permit to demolish the old one was issued in September. Officials didn’t immediately have information on which building was affected by the collapse.
A call to an architecture firm that applied for the demolition permit wasn’t immediately returned. A woman hung up on a reporter after answering a call to a construction company that got a permit for the new building.
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