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Work Suspended On Atlantic Yards Project Following Wall Collapse

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TWC News: Work Suspended On Atlantic Yards Project Following Wall Collapse
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The Empire State Development Corporation and Forest City Ratner agreed to suspend all work at the Atlantic Yards site Friday -- after a 200-foot wall partially collapsed yesterday at a building scheduled to be demolished.

Workers were removing asbestos on the roof of the Ward Bakery building Thursday, when the parapet fell to the sidewalk.

Nobody was hurt, but several parked cars were damaged.

The ESDC says all abatement and demolition activities have shut down until the City's Department of Buildings concludes its preliminary investigation.

The collapse of building at 800 Pacific Street in Prospect Heights forced nearly 100 families to evacuate a neighboring homeless shelter.

The shelter was reopened Friday morning and the residents were allowed back in.

The building where the collapse happened is a former bakery owned by Forest City Ratner, the developer of the Atlantic Yards project. The building is slated to come down to make way for the redevelopment.

At a rally Friday, neighborhood activists called for more accountability if the project does continue to move forward.

"There is no oversight. You approve the project and you don't even check if you did anything correctly,” said Daniel McCala of Borough Preservation Alliance.

"Whether it is people who favor the project or people who oppose the project there has got to be a common meeting table where everyone understands the schedule, everyone understands ramifications, everyone understands what it all means and why,” said Councilman Bill de Blasio.

The Fire Department says the recent wet weather could have contributed to the collapse.

Forest City Ratner has been issued a violation for failure to maintain an exterior wall.
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