20 years ago on October 24th, 2001
A 14-story construction scaffolding and brick building façade collapses, killing five workers and seriously injuring 10 others in a courtyard at 215 Park Ave South near Union Square
The collapse occurred a month and a half after the September 11th attacks and caused building tenants to fear the collapse was another terror attack. Rescue workers were pulled from Ground Zero to assist in digging through the three-story pile of rubble to locate anyone trapped below. The contractor would go on to plead guilty to second-degree reckless manslaughter and admit that he had not done calculations on how much weight the scaffolding could safely hold and had designed the structure himself instead of having it certified by an engineer or architect.