Mayor Rescues Pedestrian Hurt in Partial Building Collapse in New Jersey

The pedestrian was one of four people hurt in the West New York partial building collapse

Four people were hurt outside a New Jersey doctor's office when the building partially collapsed, sending bricks tumbling down to the sidewalk and hitting people on the ground, officials say. 

Mayor Dr. Felix Roque happened to be inside his own doctor's office at Palisade Avenue and 60th Street in West New York when he says he heard a loud bang and people screaming. 

"I came out and I saw a gentleman lying on the floor covered with bricks," he told NBC 4 New York.

Roque rushed to administer aid to the victim until emergency responders arrived. He said the victim appeared to be in critical condition. 

Three other people had injuries including a crushed foot and an injury to the arm, though it's not clear how serious they were. 

The town's construction official, Manuel Fernandez, said an aging parapet was to blame for the collapse. Two buildings have been declared unsafe, and the owners were ordered to get a structural engineer and a contractor to assess and make repairs.

"The streets are closed until the structural engineer makes a decision on all the parapets on this block," said Fernandez. "Any one of those could go at any time. There's no way to know." 

Fernandez said there had not been any prior issues with the parapets, estimated to be built in the 1920s or '30s. 

"Sandy came through and nothing happened. Maybe it got weak during Sandy, we don't know," he said. 

Power has been turned off in the buildings and 60th Street is closed from Palisade Avenue to Hudson until the structural engineer makes a decision, officials say. 

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