Bronx, NY Apartment House Collapse, Jul 1936



Penthouse of Six-Story
Structure Caves In,
Wrecking Interior


Doctors and Priests Work by
Side of Rescuers Sawing
Their Way to Victims


60-Family House on Mosholu
Parkway Was Nearly Finished
— Prosecutor Starts Inquiry.

At least four workmen were
crushed to death and a dozen others
injured at 3:30 o'clock yesterday
afternoon in the collapse of
the center section of a sixty-family
apartment house under construction
at 112 East Mosholu Parkway
South, the Bronx.
One body was taken out. But
some firemen and policemen reported
seeing four other bodies in
the debris. Other rescuers said
they had seen three bodies besides
the one that was removed. The
police said that three and possibly
five men were still missing early
this morning.
The six-story building, which was
nearing completion, had been extolled
only three days before at an
elaborate ceremony as being of an
advanced type. Congratulations
were extended that there had been
no accident.
Early today, firemen and policemen,
working with a crane, floodlights'
hung against trees, cables,
electric saws and acetylene torches,
were trying t o extricate bodies from
wreckage that piled up to the third
floor. The crane and cables were
used to pull down sections of t he
front wall preparatory to lifting out
the jumbled mass inside.

Inquiries Are Started

District Attorney Samuel J . Foley,
the Police, Fire, Building and State
Labor Departments had investigations
under way last night to determine
the cause of the accident
and whether there had been any
criminal negligence. A score of
witnesses were examined at hospitals
and the Bronx Park police station.
The Bronx Building Department
suggested that the collapse
might have been caused by plumbers
on the third floor who were
boring through a brick column for
piping, possibly weakening the
structure up to the roof and i ts
Assistant District Attorney Andrew
C. McCarthy of the Bronx announced
that he had subpoenaed
building plans and insurance records
of thirty-six sub-contractors
working, on the apartment house.
Mr.. McCarthy questioned Louis
Steinberg of 1,945 Loring Place, the
Bronx, described as t h e builder; h is
son, Max, of 120 West 133d Street,
fourteen men who were at work in
other parts of the building and
eight of the injured, in Fordham
After the questioning. Mr. McCarthy
said the District Attorney's
investigation would be resumed at
9 o'clock this morning.
Rescuers, doctors and priests
climbed ladders to get to the workmen
buried in t h e wreckage. Mayor
La Guardia, who stayed three
hours at the scene, took a n active
hand in the work and climbed a
ladder to speak encouragingly to a
heroic victim who directed the removal
of timbers and eventually
was rescued, although badly injured.
The building stood In three sections.
The wings withstood the
terrific strain of the crash of the
center. Most of the structure rose
six stories, but it stood on a sloping
line, so that part had a substantial
basement. It fronts on the heavily
traveled thoroughfare known as
Mosholu Parkway North and South
and Mosholu Drive.

Penthouse Crashes Down

At 3:30 P. M. yesterday bricklayers,
steamfitters, plumbers and
other workmen were busy on t he
various floors of the center section.
Most of them were on the third
floor. Louis Lansafane, 20 years
old, of 3,057 Bailey Avenue, the
Bronx, whose father was killed,
was on that floor, paying workmen.
Several plumbers were working
on a column on the third floor.

June 20, 1936 edition of The New York Times


Building collapse

My grandfather Antonio Rugolo was one of the brick layers who died at the scene.