Report: Developer could have prevented BK collapse

The developer of the Atlantic Yards project could have prevented the potentially fatal collapse of a building in April, according to a city report.The Department

BROOKLYN - The developer of the Atlantic Yards project could have prevented the potentially fatal collapse of a building in April, according to a city report.

The Department of Buildings found Bruce Ratner, who was tearing down the former Ward Bakery on Pacific Street to make way for a parking lot, knew about the building's structural problems before the collapse.

A 200-foot section came crashing down April 26 as workers were removing asbestos before demolition. No one was injured in the incident, however, terra cotta tiles and rubble scattered the sidewalk.

The report found the bakery was compromised by years of water infiltrating the building's steel support.

Forest City Ratner, the developer's company, was given violations for failing to maintain the exterior wall and for removing a sidewalk safety shed. Gateway Demolition was also citied for failing to protect its workers.

The DOB is allowing Ratner to continue with the project, which is part of a new Nets arena in downtown Brooklyn.

The developer has not returned calls for comment.

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