NEW YORK (Reuters) – A woman was rescued after she was trapped in rubble when a vacant seven-story building partially collapsed onto smaller buildings in Poughkeepsie, New York, during a brief thunderstorm on Monday, the city’s mayor said.
The woman, who has not been identified, was conscious and alert after her lower body was pinned by heavy debris for more than four hours, City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison told the Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the woman was rescued in a statement on Monday night.
“State personnel and assets have been deployed to the scene, and we are working with local authorities to clear the debris and ensure the safety of all. We will continue to closely monitor the situation on the ground,” he said.
The partial collapse appeared to have crushed parts of a neighboring building’s rear, blanketing it and at least two vehicles parked nearby with rubble, according to photographs posted online by the Connecticut Fire Photographers Association, which had a member at the scene.
“We believe at this point there are no other victims but we haven’t had a chance to thoroughly search all the other buildings because they’re extremely unstable,” Mark Johnson, the city’s fire chief, told reporters at the scene, according to video posted online.
Wind gusts of up to 60 mph (95 km/h) may have contributed to the building’s collapse, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
Three firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion, the newspaper said, citing Rolison.
Poughkeepsie is about 60 miles (100 km) up the Hudson River from New York City.
Reporting by Tea Kvetenadze in New York and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Peter Cooney and Paul Tait