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NYC parking garage that partially collapsed to be demolished: ‘Incredibly complex operation’

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(NEW YORK) — A New York City parking garage that partially collapsed on Tuesday will carefully be demolished as investigators search for the cause of the structural collapse that killed one and injured five others, officials said.

More than 50 cars were parked on the roof of the four-story Lower Manhattan building when it collapsed Tuesday afternoon, sending cars plummeting and killing one worker whose body remains trapped in the debris, officials said Wednesday.

Gas tanks and electric vehicles in the debris are complicating the deconstruction process.

“This is an incredibly complex operation,” emergency management commissioner Zach Iscol said during a press briefing Wednesday. “The building is not structurally sound.”

The city is working to “safely demolish” the building while also removing the vehicles, he said.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed Wednesday that the deceased garage worker, who has not been publicly identified, also remains in the collapsed building.

Four workers were treated at local hospitals following the collapse, while a fifth refused medical treatment, officials said. The New York Fire Department said it appears most if not all of the patients have since been released.

Department of Buildings acting Commissioner Kazimir Vilenchik said the building “pancaked,” and that the ceiling collapsed “all the way to the cellar floor.”

Firefighters went inside the building to search for victims but it was continuing to collapse so they evacuated. A robotic dog and a drone were brought in to continue to search the building. Officials believe that everyone is accounted for and there is no reason to believe this is anything but a structural collapse.

The exact cause of the collapse remains under investigation.

“There’s a thorough investigation that is going to happen with this building. And we’re going to learn from it,” Adams said.

The parking garage, which is owned by 57 Ann Street Realty Association, currently has four active violations, according to records from the New York City Department of Buildings.

The violations that remain open were recorded between 2003 and 2013.

One of the four violations still open is from Nov. 25, 2003, and has a severity status listed as “hazardous.” In the violation details, the department recorded the discovery of cracks in the concrete on the first floor, calling the concrete “defective.”

The company did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

ABC News’ Mark Crudele and Victoria Arancio contributed to this report.

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