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Officials Question Legality Of Collapsed Brooklyn Billboard

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TWC News: Officials Question Legality Of Collapsed Brooklyn Billboard
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Crews continued to clean up Saturday after a billboard collapsed next to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and officials at the Department of Buildings said there shouldn't have been any advertisements at the location to begin with. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

The slogan for the New York Lottery is "Hey, You Never Know," and only part of it remained early Saturday morning as crews worked to remove a collapsed billboard in Brooklyn.

The sign was atop 421 Meeker Avenue. It came crashing down Friday afternoon on the westbound side of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, sending debris flying through the neighborhood and onto the BQE.

A car and nearby buildings were damaged. Officials at the Department of Buildings say advertisements at the location are illegal.

“It’s a miracle that nobody got hurt, because this is always busy, especially around 2 o'clock,” said one resident.

“I ride my bike up Meeker Avenue all the time—warm, cold, whatever. So, I mean, I could have been right under that when it came down. So of course we're all lucky that there were no people,” said another.

Residents say they've seen billboards in the neighborhood sway under high winds, especially during Irene.

They say they think the billboards are too close to the expressway and their homes.

“They just ruin the landscape and then to have something like this happen, it destroyed that building, and it landed—it shouldn't be that close to the expressway. It's terrible,” said one resident.

DOB officials say the city has been cracking down on illegal billboards since 2009, but it hasn't been easy since many are old enough to be exempt from new restrictions.

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