A construction elevator and 20 floors of scaffolding surrounding it collapsed Tuesday morning at a skyscraper construction site in Times Square, raining debris onto a nearby senior citizens' residence where one person was missing.
Police used dogs to search for the missing resident in wreckage on the 12th floor of the Woodstock Hotel."There's a lot of rubble and debris and suspicions and fear that there might be one person dead," said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Other residents were safely evacuated. Twelve minor injuries were reported, apparently including construction workers and other people in the hotel, officials said.
The scaffolding was at the site of the Conde Nast building, which is to be 48 stories tall when construction is finished next year. The company publishes magazines such as Vogue and the New Yorker.
The Woodstock stands across a street from the new building.
The mayor said the elevator, a materials hoist that apparently was not used to carry people, had been inspected by the city.
Andrew Mullen, who works across the street, said he was walking under the building's scaffolding when he heard loud buckling sounds and construction workers yelling for everyone to get off the street.
"People were running for their lives," he said. "It was like a Godzilla movie."