5 Injured In Manhattan Scaffolding Collapse [VIDEOS/PHOTOS]

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(VIDEOS & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

5 people were hurt after a scaffolding came crashing down in Manhattan on Sunday afternoon.

Witnesses posted photos on social media just before noon, showing wooden planks and large metal rods strewn about at the corner of Prince Street and Broadway in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood.

Authorities say 5 people suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The area was clogged with shoppers and tourists and fire officials say “we’re extremely lucky” there were no more injuries.

“It’s been a very windy day and the sidewalk shed at the corner of Prince and Broadway was blown down,” Deputy Chief Chris Boyle said at the scene.

“There were a couple of pedestrians buried in debris. Units were here in 2 minutes and we were able to get them out quickly.”

Medics took the 5 pedestrians — 3 women and 2 men — to Bellevue Hospital Center. 2 were in serious but stable condition, and 3 suffered minor injuries.

Videos posted to social media show heroic good samaritans rushing to free two trapped people. One woman they rescued was reported to have a bad cut to her head and possibly a broken leg.

Boyle said the sidewalk shed that had collapsed was 20-feet tall. “The exterior plywood panels acted as a sail and it blew the shed over,” he said, adding that it was “very fortunate to only have five injuries.”

“Everybody ran from the store to try to remove the rubble before anybody arrived and they got a lot of it off even before the fire department came,” one woman, who was inside a nearby market told CBS New York.

Fire officials said the collapse likely happened due to high wind gusts. The National Weather Service in New York said a wind advisory is in effect in the city until 6 PM

“Scaffolding that is meant to protect residents should not be up long enough that it needs to be inspected over and over again year after year,” City Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side, said in a statement.

“We can do a better job at keeping New Yorkers safe, by making sure building repairs are done as soon as possible and scaffolding are up for no longer than they have to be.”

Units with the FDNY and NYPD remained on the scene early Sunday afternoon as the investigation and cleanup continued.

Southbound traffic was closed at Prince Street and northbound N, Q, R and E trains were bypassing the Prince Street station for several hours after the incident.

 

(YWN / AP)