In a West 125th Street construction accident Tuesday, Sept. 20, a scaffold collapsed on a New York City bus, injuring 17 riders. Emergency workers on the scene announced that no injuries were life-threatening. In addition, no construction workers were on the five-story-high scaffold when it collapsed.
According to witnesses, the scaffold collapse occurred when bricks from the building, which was being demolished, fell onto the scaffolding with such force that the entire structure collapsed into the street below. At the time, most workers were working on an elevator shaft within the building. The scaffolding had been inspected on Sept. 7, but inspectors found nothing wrong with its condition.
According to one witness that was riding the bus at the time of the accident, the entire back of the bus filled with smoke and rubble crashed through the windows. After about a minute, the bus driver instructed the riders to exit the vehicle. Luckily, most people on the bus had just entered the vehicle from an uncovered stop where the scaffolding fell. If the scaffolding had fallen moments earlier, the injuries could have been much more severe.
New York City firefighters were quick to arrive on the scene, assisting the injured and clearing debris from the bus and street. The bus itself was driven down the street by a transit worker and towed away for repairs.
Source: The New York Times, “17 Injured as Scaffold Collapses Onto Bus in Harlem,” Andy Newman and Matt Flegenheimer, Sept. 20, 2011