7 injured after part of building collapses near Yale University

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Firefighters rescued six people trapped Friday when a building under construction near Yale University partially collapsed, according to officials.

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New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said authorities got calls just before 12:40 p.m. about the collapse on Lafayette Street, a few blocks from the Yale campus.

“They were doing a concrete pour on this building and as they were pouring concrete, a portion of the second floor collapsed onto the first floor and then into the basement,” the mayor said. He added that seven construction workers were injured, two of whom were last listed in critical condition.

In an alert issued at 1:10 p.m., officials with Yale said police were responding to a “building construction accident” in the area of 188 Lafayette St.

Thirty-six people were working on the construction site at the time of the collapse, Elicker said. No deaths were reported.

Fire Chief John Aston said that some of those wounded suffered broken bones and three people were buried under the rubble.

“What was occurring at the time was a concrete and cement pour and what happens is, you have workers up there who are spreading it as it’s being applied to that level,” he said. “It appears from their statements that it began to pool in a certain area faster than they could, and it caused it to cave.”

He praised authorities for their work to rescue those who were trapped, noting that officials had to deal with the added complication of finding people in wet concrete before it could harden. He added that there was sharp rebar in the site and one of the walls was unstable.

The building, a 112-unit residential building with three levels of parking, was being built by RMS Companies on land leased by Yale, Elicker said. Work has been stopped as officials investigate.

“Moving forward there will be a significant investigation, as with any construction situation like this,” the mayor said. Both police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have launched investigations.

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