There are nearly 70,000 elevators in New York City alone. The Department of Buildings is-ostensibly-in charge of overseeing the safety of all of those elevators. Unfortunately, as one spat of inspections recently discovered, many of those elevators aren't in proper working order. Many are still in operation even though their inspection logs aren't up to date, known issues haven't been repaired, and-in some cases-inspectors have been forging documents in order to maintain certification.
Three construction workers were injured in a terrifying scaffolding accident in New York City late last month. The individuals were working above street level at a job site in Brooklyn at around 2:30 in the afternoon of February 27th when the scaffolding they were on collapsed.
The deadly explosion and apartment fire in New York in early April that left two dead and nearly 20 people injured was likely the result of an illegal gas line tap. The midday blast caused a fiery inferno that caused a significant portion of the east village apartment building to collapse. The injured were pulled from the rubble by emergency workers. The two deceased individuals were recovered after the fire had already been extinguished. Both were inside the first-floor sushi restaurant. One was a young man on a date, the other was a busboy employed by the establishment.
An early morning bus accident in New York near the George Washington Bridges sent two people to the hospital with leg injuries earlier this month. Police reports show that the jitney bus skidded off the Henry Hudson Parkway ramp in Washington Heights and careened down a snow-covered embankment, barely missing several trees, before smashing through a stone retaining wall and finally coming to a rest as the front of the bus smashed into a pair of trees. When rescue crews arrived at the bus accident in Manhattan, they found the vehicle nearly 100 feet from the roadway, suggesting that speed may have been a factor in the accident.
Another fatal bicycle accident in New York City claimed the life of a commuter. A minivan collided with a bicyclist shortly after noon on June 10th near Citi Field on a stretch of street that New Yorkers often call "The Roosevelt Raceway." The cyclist was killed instantly. This is the eighth fatal bicycle accident in New York City already this year-that's already higher than the number of fatalities for this same period in 2013. While the NYPD investigated, the driver of the minivan was not immediately charged with a crime, though he was eventually summonsed for a speeding violation.
We put our children on school buses every day and expect them to make it to their destinations safely but that's not always the case. A terrifying New York City school bus accident involving a taxi cab sent nine people to the hospital with undisclosed injuries. On March 11th, a Brooklyn bus carrying 6 school children (all under the age of 12) flipped over after a taxi cab struck the front of the bus at a busy Bedford-Stuyvesant intersection. All of the students were taken to an area hospital for observation while the bus driver and matron were hospitalized for undisclosed injuries.
A 12-year old girl suffered a traumatic experience just last month. She fell over 30 feet down an elevator shaft in Manhattan. Samaritans at the scene told reporters she was lying motionless on her back at the bottom of the shaft and the elevator was immediately taken out of service to avoid crushing the little girl. The Manhattan elevator accident was the first of its kind this year and though the girl suffered numerous injuries, she survived the fall and is recovering from her ordeal.
In May, a Brooklyn motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a well-loved father and friend. 74-year old Mai Zhang was struck and killed while riding his bicycle along Benson Avenue in Brooklyn. The driver of the Nissan SUV involved in the accident and a doctor who happened to be passing by attempted to save the man but Zhang's injuries proved too much. He was pronounced dead when EMTs arrived. The NYPD did not be press charges, saying that no "criminality" was involved in the case.
Authorities have zeroed in on a gas leak as the cause for the massive explosion in East Harlem that levelled two buildings earlier last week. Over sixty residents were injured in the blast and rescue; recovery workers have recovered seven individuals who were killed in the explosive apartment complex accident and two individuals are still unaccounted for. Witnesses reported smelling the odor of natural gas at least fifteen minutes before the explosion. Reports show that a Con Ed team was nearby investigating a possible leak, when the buildings collapsed in a huge fireball.
Apartment fires in New York City are far too common an occurrence. It seems like there's a major one-devastating and even deadly in some cases-every time you turn on the news or pick up the paper. While many of these apartment fires are caused by unforeseeable accidents, a certain number are caused by negligence on the part of the building's landlord or the management company in charge of the property.