River of Debris Pours Through Hotel Cafe After Construction Accident

"One minute I'm sipping a cappuccino, the next minute I'm running for my life from a wall of cement," said a witness.

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012  |  Updated 6:29 AM EDT
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River of Debris Pours into Hotel Cafe

Bernard Gershon

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A construction crew working next door to Le Parker Meridien hotel broke through a wall Wednesday, sending a river of wet cement and debris cascading through a lobby-level espresso bar.

No one was injured but the accident created a mess and alarmed those inside in the coffee shop, one witness told NBC New York.

Bernard Gershon, vice president of GershonMedia, was having a cup of coffee there with a friend when they heard debris falling behind the wall, and a rustling noise.

"Then we heard a cracking sound, so we thought we should get up. Then we heard loud cracking, then we were running like mad out to 57th Street," he said.

Gershon described the wet cement substance as being like "lava flowing over the furniture."

"One minute I'm sipping a cappuccino, the next minute I'm running for my life from a wall of cement," he said.

Gershon said the cafe was not crowded; just two other patrons plus a barista and a waitress were there.

The hotel said in a statement that the mess was contained to the espresso bar and that nothing reached the lobby.

"Fortunately, nobody was injured and FDNY was called into action immediately," the statement said.

Katie Honan contributed to this story

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