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Five-story brownstone collapses in Harlem, New York City

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Members from the fire department search for victims amid rubble at the scene of a building collapse in Harlem Friday. No casualties were reported, according to police officials.

An unoccupied five-story brownstone collapsed in Harlem Friday afternoon releasing a cloud of dust and smoke, NBC New York reported.

No one was injured when the building on West 123rd Street "pancaked" -- meaning all the floors fell onto each other -- officials said.


"All we heard was crack, crack, crack," said Shane Weekes, who was standing on the sidewalk across the street when the 100-year-old building went down.

Search and rescue crews combed through the rubble, using search dogs and listening devices before determining that no one was trapped.

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The block between Lenox and Seventh Avenues remained shut down as fire crews continued their clean-up efforts Friday evening.

A Queens construction company had a permit to work on the foundation of the building though contractors had finished for the day when the building fell apart just before 5 p.m.

The Department of Buildings has no records of violations at the site, though they are conducting an investigation and will be speaking with contractors to find out what may have caused the collapse.

Craig Schley, president of the block association, said the construction in the area has concerned him.

"We have a lot of construction, fast development here," he said. "My personal opinion, some foundation work, construction work—looks like it went bad."

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