Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jeffries calls for investigation; James calls for stopping all work

The partial collapses of the Ward Bakery has led to evacuation of the neighboring homeless shelter and significant concern around the Pacific Street site. Investigations are ongoing, and elected officials are speaking up.

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries issued this statement:
Complete Investigation Demanded
“The partial collapse of the Ward Bakery has caused great concern in the community. I am thankful that no one was injured, as this accident could have had tragic consequences. The Fire Department must conduct a thorough investigation of the cause of this collapse and I expect the developer to fully participate. This incident further highlights the need to proceed with extreme caution as the developer moves forward the Atlantic Yards project.”


Council Member Letitia James issued this statement:
Work in "Atlantic Yards" Site Should Be Halted Immediately

"I am relieved no one was hurt in the partial "collapse" of part of the historic Ward's Bakery building this morning. I have been asking for an oversight structure of construction work at the site for sometime now. There is still no formal structure, other than the developer's own "Community Liaison Office," from which the public can get information.

It is tragic that 350 residents, consisting of 94 families, have been displaced because of this morning's occurrence. I find it ironic that for 80 years Wards Bakery stood without incident and that this collapse would happen at this time. It is further ironic that some of these displaced have filed lawsuits affecting the approval of the Atlantic Yards Project. It is also important to note that this is one of several incidents that have occurred in the footprint of the project.

In light of what happened at 800 Pacific Street this morning, and other incidents, I have asked Empire State Development Corporation, who is acting as the lead agency in this project, to halt all work at the "Atlantic Yards" site until this morning's occurrence can be fully investigated, and until there is a monitoring body to oversee all proposed demolition and construction at the site.

This is still a neighborhood filled with residents and businesses. The current situation is hazardous to the health and safety of my constituents, and these demolitions, accidental and intentional, are entirely premature in the process."

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