A body has been recovered from the rubble of a parking garage which collapsed in New York, city officials have said.
It has not been confirmed if the body is that of the missing garage worker who was presumed dead after the multi-level parking lot collapsed on Tuesday.
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg has opened an investigation into the collapse.
A preliminary investigation all three floors of the garage partially or completely collapsed, according to the city’s Buildings Department. The garage’s rear wall partially collapsed and the front facade bulged.
Officials said recovery efforts to remove up to 90 vehicles from amid tons of shattered concrete were made more difficult by the possibility that work could further destabilise the structure.
Two decades ago, city building inspectors cited the property owner for failing to properly maintain the building, finding at the time there were “cracks and defects” in the concrete.
A 2013 inspection showed no further structural issues, according to an update the Building Department provided on Wednesday afternoon.
Beginning last year, parking garages in parts of Manhattan were required to undergo structural inspections and file a report with the city by the end of 2023, with additional inspections at least once every six years. City officials said the garage’s owners had yet to comply.
The collapse happened at around 4pm on Tuesday, a few blocks from City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge in downtown Manhattan.
Pace University evacuated an adjacent dormitory and a classroom building and cancelled evening classes as it assessed the buildings’ safety.
City inspectors gave the all clear to resume use of the buildings, although the university said it would hold some classes online and have staff work remotely for the time being.
Six nearby buildings were under evacuation orders pending inspections, according to city officials.