A man was hospitalized with serious injuries after part of a Brooklyn building's facade fell on top of him as he walked along the sidewalk, crushing him.
The incident was captured by surveillance footage exclusively obtained by NBC New York. Some time around 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said that 39-year-old Oumar Ba was walking down St. Johns Place in Crown Heights when debris and bricks fell from above on top of him.
The video shows Ba walking close to the building and stopping briefly, which is when the facade collapsed down onto the sidewalk, landing right on him. Ba was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where his wife says he has a fractured skull and injuries to his ribs and shoulder. He was listed in serious but stable condition.
Abdouramane Thiam is a friend of Ba, who said the father of two was visiting him at the time of the incident.
"He wasn't talking, not talking at all," Thiam said, which is when he called 911, with Ba unconscious. Another witness said he saw a concrete slab fall straight down from atop the building, as one man got napkins from a nearby pizza shop to apply pressure to the back of the man's bleeding head.
"For me, I thought it was over for him. I was praying to God. Even when I called 911, I could not even talk to them. I just was praying," said Thiam.
The Department of Buildings was notified afterward, and crews were seen on the roof inspecting where the bricks fell from. Later Wednesday night, the city confirmed to NBC New York that illegal work without proper permitting had been done on the building. Violations were issued for the illegal work and for failure to maintain the building, and the owner was instructed to put up a sidewalk shed as soon as possible.
The facade collapse come after a recent stretch of similar incidents throughout the city, some of which have been deadly. Just yesterday, a piece of the East River Esplanade collapsed as a sinkhole opened up right over the water.
A worker died and three others were injured July 16 after a piece of a building molding fell onto a scaffold Manhattan. That occurred just blocks away from the site of a four-story building collapse earlier in that day.
Two days before that, a wall of a multi-story home in Brooklyn caved into a next-door alleyway, spewing debris and causing major damage but no injuries.