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August 10, 2007

DOB says Ratner should've anticipated Ward Bakery danger & also used shed; violations assigned

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reviews and reprints portions of the Deparment of Buildings report from the investigation into the collapse of the Ward Bakery building parapet in April:

WardBakery-DOB.jpg

Forest City Ratner and its contractors should’ve been much more careful. That’s the conclusion of a report by the Department of Buildings (DOB) on the April 26 collapse of a 200-foot section of the parapet of the 100-year-old Ward Bakery on Pacific Street. The fallout was alarming, as the 55-foot drop spread terra cotta and rubble around a sidewalk not protected by a shed, but fortunately was not fatal.

DOB’s report, dated “July 2007,” first surfaced in a Daily News exclusive this morning, headlined Building's collapse no surprise: Ratner knew of damage to Ward building, but didn't halt demolition - report. (The headline is overstated, because it was the parapet, not the building that collapsed, and it was asbestos abatement rather than full-scale demolition.) The Daily News says the report was issued July 25.

The department’s Forensic Engineering Unit concluded that the parapet had suffered extensive structural deterioration:

Forest City Ratner had been apprised of the deterioration of the façade and the parapet, but the extent of the deterioration and the risk of collapse had apparently not been communicated to the crew that had been assigned the task of removing tar and asbestos coatings from the rear of the parapet. As a result of the deteriorated conditions, even the relatively passive construction activities involved in removing the coatings precipitated the collapse of the terracotta tiles and the bricks on which they were mounted.

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Posted by lumi at August 10, 2007 11:18 AM