Several workers had to be dug out of the ground by firefighters after ground they were working in outside a Brooklyn rowhouse gave way Monday, burying them up to their waists in dirt, fire officials said.
The workers were digging an extension in the yard of a rowhouse on Wilson Street in Williamsburg that was under renovation at the time of the accident, authorities said. Two of the buried workers had to be dug out by firefighters; a third was able to extricate himself from the dirt.
The men suffered minor injuries.
NBC 4 New York has learned the building owner did not have a permit for the construction work.
The Department of Buildings put stop-work orders on the landlord's building and evacuated several neighboring buildings, including a home and a synagogue, as a precaution. Dismissal at a nearby school was also modified.
“This morning’s cave-in is a stark reminder of the dangers of working without permits or proper safeguards," a Department of Buildings spokesperson said. "The Department is investigating this illegal construction project and we will do everything in our power to identify and hold accountable those responsible for endangering public safety.”
The landlord of the building has not yet been located, the Department of Buildings said.