A building on Reade Street between Church and Broadway streets collapsed this morning, ripping almost clear apart from the building next door. The collapse apparently shook surrounding buildings, and tremors could be felt by neighbors.
Following the collapse, the street and sidewalks, as well as all vehicles parked nearby, were covered in dust, which may contain asbestos fibers.
Older buildings – those built before the 1980s – likely contain potentially harmful levels of asbestos within attic insulation and floor or ceiling tiles. These asbestos materials are not dangerous unless they are disturbed or damaged from a collapse such as the event in Tribeca this morning.
There is no word as to whether or not this particular building contained asbestos. Exposure to asbestos can lead to the eventual development of mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-related diseases, many of which are fatal.
The dust that covered the street and cars following the building’s collapse is reminiscent of the scene at Ground Zero after the World Trade Center buildings fell. Hundreds of New Yorker’s have reported asbestos-related illnesses since 2001.
For a video of the collapse aftermath, visit http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-252252.