Department of Buildings

Scavenger Falls Through Floor in Brooklyn Building Set to Be Demolished: DOB

Authorities say he was taken to a hospital in serious condition

What to Know

  • A scavenger plunged through the floor of a vacant building that the city Tuesday afternoon, officials said
  • The scavenger, who was initially identified as a construction worker, is expected to survive the collapse
  • City officials said the building had been ordered to be torn down earlier this month and had multiple open violations

A scavenger fell through the floor of a vacant building set to be demolished in Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon, according to officials.

The man was looking for building materials in the vacant structure at 463 Rutland Road in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens when the floor gave way about 1 p.m., according to a city Department of Buildings spokeswoman.

The man plunged into a basement and and was buried in debris; authorities said he was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive his wounds.

Chopper 4 footage from over the scene shortly after the accident showed firefighters toiling inside a huge pit, lifting up crumbled pieces of wood as they worked to rescue the man. The scavenger was hoisted from the hole in a stretcher after about 30 minutes and was wearing an oxygen mask and a yellow hardhat. 

The spokeswoman said the Buildings Department had ordered the mixed use structure to be demolished on Feb. 12 due to concerns about public safety. An application to tear down the building was approved Tuesday, but other permits had not yet been issued. 

The building had 19 open Department of Buildings and city Environmental Control Board violations at the time of the collapse, according to the spokeswoman. Among the violations was one for failing to maintain the building after a partial collapse in November.

No other structures were damaged by Tuesday's collapse, and the Buildings Department said it is continuing to investigate.

It's not clear if the scavenger, who police initially identified as a construction worker, will face charges. 

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