Patrick MoussignacAug 14, 2018, 11:26 amAug 15, 2018, 5:00 pm

Retaining wall collapses in Ossining, leaves newly-built apartment building on edge

Firefighters say 1 person was hurt and residents living near the scene were evacuated


OSSINING — Structural engineers are back at the site where a 50-foot retaining wall came crashing down Monday night. That wall stood behind a newly-built apartment building located on Main Street.

Authorities say the wall fell around 7:30 p.m., leaving the apartment building teetering at the end of a newly-formed cliff. Fallen rocks, many of them the size of small boulders, caused damage with much of the rubble landing on the American Pumping Company. The rocks crushed a portion of the business as well as several vehicles. Jose Fernandez of Carmel has worked at the company for years.

"Right now, I’m out of work. I won't be working. I guess it will be months before they can assess everything, what's going on, what they can do and cannot do, then we'll reopen again," Fernandez said. He added that this was the second time a retaining wall has fallen in the same spot. He helped build the second wall with the former owner of the business.

Firefighters say no one was hurt in the collapse, but several people who were living near the collapsed wall have been forced out of their homes. Local streets have also been closed off.

Engineers are now inspecting the scene to make sure that the ground is stable and the apartment building above is still structurally safe. While the cause is under investigation, the 5 inches of rain experienced in the area over the past two weeks seem a likely culprit. There is no word yet on when the streets will be reopened to traffic or when people will be allowed back in their homes.

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