April 18, 2023 | 8:44 p.m
A woman who lives next to the Financial District parking garage that collapsed Tuesday was home during the destruction, which left a gaping hole in one of the walls of her apartment.
“First there were a lot of really big hits. Then part of the wall started to collapse,” Sandy Imhoff, whose second-floor apartment shares a wall with the Ann Street garage, told The Post.
“Bricks were coming in. The place was filling up with dirt… part of my wall is gone.”
One worker was killed and five others were injured when the garage on Ann Street near Nassau Street collapsed at 4:10 p.m., engulfing dozens of cars and sending concrete slabs from the fourth floor into the basement.
“I was just in shock,” Imhoff said after the collapse. “I was worried about the other people in the building.”
Imhoff ran outside, but said her two cats were still in her apartment.
Officials said the parking garage building has active violations dating back to 2003, but is not under construction.
However, Imhoff said she heard what sounded like a “crash” of the structure coming from the garage around 10 a.m., just six hours before the collapse.
A 22-year-old man who worked in an office next to the garage said the collapse “came out of nowhere” and lasted between seven and 10 seconds.
“We heard a loud noise and knew it was not safe,” said the worker, who identified himself as IB.
“We looked down from the window and saw a lot of smoke, so we thought something had happened, but obviously we don’t know what it was. Everyone just started rushing.”
The suddenness caused fear and confusion – although his colleagues were sure the collapse was not caused by an earthquake, they wondered if it could have been caused by another natural phenomenon.
“As the garage was collapsing, it felt like cars were collapsing on top of each other… There was also a split, so initially people in the office thought it was a hole,” IB said, adding that his office of about 50 people jumped to is evacuated.
It was unclear how many cars were destroyed, but officials said many were crushed by the falling concrete.
One car had apparently fallen through the floor, landing with its headlights on the ground and its trunk facing the sky.
Its owner, Ahmed Scott, said he was moments away from pulling the vehicle away before he saw it hit the ground.
“The way my car looks, if I was going to get my car, I’d be dead,” said Scott, who commutes to the neighborhood from the Bronx every day.
The publisher’s employee, who works as a photographer, said all his equipment was jammed in the car.
His house keys are also in the vehicle, leaving him unsure of how he will get home.
“I’ve seen my car destroyed … I’m just trying to keep a clear mind and not let it get to me,” Scott said.
Officials from multiple agencies are still working to clear the building, which they say is “completely unstable.”
Pace University, located down the block from the parking garage, canceled classes for the rest of the day.
Homes and buildings in the immediate vicinity — including Imhoff’s apartment — were evacuated, though it’s unclear when the orders will be lifted.