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Parking Garage Collapse in Hackensack, NJ

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 19, 2010 10:09 AM

Rescue workers have found at least one person trapped in the rubble of a collapsed parking garage in Hackensack, New Jersey on July 16. Two or three others who are missing might also be caught under the remains of the underground garage of a 15 story, 300 unit apartment building. Rescue workers found evidence of the trapped person via camera, they will not be allowed in until the structure has been shored up.

Residents of the building told the New York Times the garage collapse was caused when a steel-and-glass canopy outside the building slammed onto a U-shaped driveway above the garage causing the whole building to shake. Lt. Stephen Lindner of the Hackensack Fire Department told the press the cause of the collapse has not yet been determined.

The Times reports some residents think a water main that had been leaking for months in the area that caved in might be to blame. They said driving into the garage meant driving through a curtain of water. Residents believe some work had been done in the area around the leak, but that the repairs remained unfinished.

According to CNN, structural engineers are working on assessing the integrity of the apartments near the collapsed garage. Lt. Lindner told the press that the apartments do not appear to be compromised, but he doubts residents will be back in their homes by Friday night. The Red Cross is available to help find shelter for those with no place to go.

At this time, the condition of the person trapped under the rubble is still unknown. Attempts to reach that person and ascertain if any others are also trapped are on-going.

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