Seventeen people suffered minor injuries Tuesday morning when scaffolding collapsed and hit a city bus in Harlem, the New York Fire Department said.
The FDNY said one person refused medical attention and the others were being treated after the accident, which occured around 925 a.m. EDT.
The scaffolding had been erected at 301 West 125th Street, a five-story brick building that was being demolished, the Department of Buildings said.
A police spokesman at the scene said that eight of the injured people were passengers on the bus and that two police officers sustained minor injuries, The New York Times reported. Preliminary accounts said that during work on the elevator shaft in the building, bricks fell from the building onto the scaffolding, knocking it down.
Jennifer Gilbert, a spokeswoman for the Buildings Department, said that the demolition project had permits. The department received a complaint on Sept. 7 that bricks were falling off the building while workers demolished it, but inspectors apparently found nothing wrong. The demolition company, Disano Demolition of Queens, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Sasha Chavkin, a reporter for The New York World, a new investigative journalism site housed at Columbia Journalism School, was on the bus, a Bx15 headed west on 125th Street.
We pulled into the stop and I heard a falling sound of something collapsing toward the back, and the back of the bus filled up with smoke, said Chavkin. People were running from the back and screaming. After about a minute, the bus driver let everyone off the bus. I talked to a kid in the back who said he thought he was going to die. He said rubble had fallen through the windows of the bus.