NEW YORK — An outside wall of a six-story Harlem apartment building peeled away and collapsed Tuesday, spilling tenants and their belongings into a pile of bricks and rubble. Three people were killed and eight were injured.
At least 30 emergency workers and 100 firefighters rushed to the 72-unit building and began picking through the fallen bricks to look for victims. Police dogs sniffed through the wreckage.
Officials had no explanation for why the wall collapsed.
The 1920s-era building had been cited in recent years for elevator violations, but records showed no complaints about structural damage, city officials said.
The building's owner, Mt. Wilson Realty, temporarily disconnected its phone, according to a recorded message.
The floors of the exposed apartments tilted down 30 degrees, dumping occupants and their belongings into an alley.
The building resembled a ramshackle dollhouse, with unmade beds, radiators and furniture slanting at precarious angles.