One Dead, Several Injured in New York Parking Garage Collapse

    Photo: Reuters [via NY Post]

    The Facts

    • On Tuesday, one person was killed while others remained trapped and injured following a parking garage collapse in lower Manhattan, New York City. All employees have been accounted for.

    • The collapse occurred at a four-story parking structure located near Pace University and the New York Stock Exchange and prompted an immediate search and rescue operation by firefighters. After firefighters retreated, robotic devices were used to continue search operations in the rubble and debris.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    This is a tragedy, but New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and other officials have been doing what they can to increase building safety, including passing a 2021 law aimed at penalizing property owners who fail to correct building code violations. These fines, which could add up to $1K per day, should convince property owners to maintain a safe environment for residents and visitors.

    Narrative B

    The new law has the right intentions but comes up short in its enforcement. Judges still have discretion on fines levied, so penalties can start as low as one penny, and are rarely issued. In addition, issuing fines after construction breeds a “build now, ask for forgiveness later” culture. This system is broken and out of touch, and more must be done.

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