By Ron Jeffers
When bricks fell from the second-story of a 60th Street building in West New York, New Jersey, it sounded like an explosion. The incident left people lying on the sidewalk bleeding, one of them unconscious.
The West New York police and North Hudson Regional Fire Department began receiving numerous calls of an “explosion” just before 5:30 p.m. during rush hour in this highly congested area on June 17th. When the first police units and ambulance arrived they reported people down and the need for additional ambulances and paramedics. Mutual aid included medical units from North Bergen, Union City and Jersey City that were also initially dispatched to an “explosion.”
North Hudson Fire Control dispatched a full assignment to the scene. Firefighters also assisted the injured and, upon further investigation, discovered that the “explosion” was the result of bricks hitting the sidewalk from the facade of the two-story structure with a brick front. The building contains a doctors office on the ground floor and an apartment above.
West New York Mayor Felix Roque, a doctor, heard a “loud boom” and ran out of his office a few doors away to investigate. He went to the aid of four people that were down in the street as emergency units arrived. It was unknown at the time if the victims were passing by or leaving the building. A search of the building after the incident showed that there was no one left inside.
Deputy Chief Mike Cranwell reported that Public Service Electric & Gas shut down the utilities and no one was allowed to return to the building until it could be determined that the building is structurally sound. A town building inspector was on the scene and sealed off the building and an adjacent structure as a precaution.
Two victims were transported to Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen and two others to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment.
See more photos from the scene HERE.
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