Part of a building collapsed in New York's Midtown Manhattan Friday, killing at least one person and seriously wounding another, officials confirm to Fox News.
Crews had been demolishing the building to make way for a luxury boutique hotel. The injured worker had been trapped beneath the rubble, officials said, adding that the other victim was found dead on arrival.
The collapse was reported just before 10:30 a.m. Friday at an eight-story building on West 38th Street, the Fire Department of New York said. Fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene, where police had cordoned off the street.
But what exactly collapsed wasn't clear from the street. Scaffolding and netting were still up on the building, and there was no sign of rubble or visible damage.
19 workers were inside the building at the time, according to Fox 5.
According to buildings records, the building is owned by Fortuna LLC. A woman who answered the phone at Fortuna Realty Group's office declined to comment and referred calls to Northeast Service Interiors, a demolition company doing work at the site. Northeast said its owners were at the site and couldn't immediately respond to a telephone call.
According to Fortuna's website, it acquired the property in late 2012 and is planning a 27-story, 170-room luxury boutique hotel there. City Buildings Department records show a permit for full demolition of the existing building was issued in May. It appears some construction has been in the works since then - permits have been issued for sprinkler systems, electrical work and other things.
The buildings department said it was on the scene investigating and didn't yet have details.
Robert Bankston, a demolition contractor who formerly worked on the site, said the two neighboring buildings were sound when the project began.
"It wasn't like the buildings were falling down," said Bankston, who noted that demolition needs to be done carefully to avoid creating risks of collapse, such as by overloading floors with heavy debris.
He said his company left the project about a month ago amid a financial disagreement with the general contractor.
At least 60 firefighters responded to the collapse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.