Worker dies, another trapped, after building partially collapses in New York

A building being demolished to make way for a luxury boutique hotel has partially collapsed in the heart of New York City, killing one construction worker and trapping at least one other beneath the rubble.

The fire department said the collapse was reported at an eight-storey building on West 38th Street in midtown Manhattan.

Fire trucks and ambulances were at the scene as police cordoned off the street.

Scaffolding and netting were still up on the building, and there was no sign of rubble or visible damage.

According to building records, the site is owned by Fortuna LLC, and the demolition work was being carried out by Northeast Service Interiors, which said its owners were at the site.

According to Fortuna’s website, it acquired the property in late 2012 and is planning a 27-storey, 170-room luxury boutique hotel. City Buildings Department records show a permit for full demolition of the eight-storey building was issued in May.

It appears some construction has been in the works since then – permits have been issued for sprinkler systems, electrical work and other things.

The buildings department said it had officials on the scene investigating the collapse.

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