Soho Sidewalk Collapses Beneath Weight of a Garbage Truck

Following the collapse of a sidewalk at 6 Greene Street, firefighters assess how the truck, which caused the collapse, can be safely removed. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Aug. 18, 2018

Emergency vehicles, from Green Street to West Broadway, lined Canal Street Saturday afternoon after the driver of a commercial garbage truck backed onto a hollow sidewalk outside 6 Green Street at 1:45 p.m., causing a portion of the walkway to collapse. There were no reported injuries, but the accident caused concern over structural issues and potential damage to gas and fuel lines, an FDNY spokesman said.

About two hours after the incident, a heavy tow truck safely removed the hauling vehicle, under the watch of the city's Departments of Buildings and Transportation, the NYPD and FDNY, the spokesman said.

Firefighters were assessing the damage shortly after the accident, deciding how to safely remove the truck from the sidewalk without further collapse.

“If it does collapse you have to worry about the tank breaking or leaking,” said a firefighter on the scene. “When you’re pulling the truck out, some more might collapse.

“I was backing up and it went down,” said the driver for Capital Industries, who declined to give his name. “The worker was there, they was asking me [to back up].” He said it was his first trip to the building.

Fully loaded, the truck can weigh up to 56,000 pounds.

Residents of 6 Green Street, who were temporarily evacuated, said the truck was picking up debris from interior demolition in the building.

A few yards from the cab of the truck is a posted sign: “HOLLOW SIDEWALK. NO TRUCKS ALLOWED.”

A representative for Capital Industries, the hauling company, could not be immediately reached for comment.