New York City, NY Hotel Collapse, Aug 1973
NINE MISSING AFTER HOTEL COLLAPSES.
New York (AP) - With a mighty roar, an eight-story section of the once elegant Broadway Central Hotel on the edge of Greenwich Village collapsed Friday night, apparently of old age.
Hours later, the fire department said nine people were still missing
and perhaps some were in the rubble. Others were believed to have been away from the building.
Fire Commissioner Robert Lowery said the "slow and dangerous process" of shifting the debris would take about 24 hours. Workers were aided by a crane moved to the site shortly before midnight.
There were 325 persons registered at the hotel - 23 of them in the part that tumbled down.
More than 100 persons from the hotel were made homeless by the collapse of part and damage to other sections. They were relocated in the Hotel Martinique near Herald Square.
At least 19 persons, including three policemen and a fireman, were taken to three area hospitals, where all were reported released after treatment.
Glen Warner, a resident of the hotel, said, "the building started to shake - it felt like an earthquake."
"The lights started flickering and the sprinkler system went on," Warner added.
The hotel houses 160 welfare residents, all of them single tenants with no welfare families. The state last December described the century-old edifice as a
"squalid den of vice and iniquity."
Police had reported two explosions of unexplained origin preceding the collapse. But Fire Chief John T. O'Hagan later said there were no explosions and attributed the accident to "the continuous day-to-day vibrations from the street."
"It was a very old building," O'Hagan pointed out.
However, a preliminary roar from loosening brick apparently alerted scores of residents and allowed them to flee the building before the full force of the collapse could trap them.
Disaster units converged on the scene on Lower Broadway and rescue crews tore at the debris with picks and shovels in frantic haste to come to the aid of anyone who might be buried. They toiled beneath a cloud of dust that hung five-stories high above them.
Standard Speaker Hazleton Pennsylvania 1973-08-04
There were 4 casualties.
ARTHUR SHERWIN, 35.