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Sidewalk Collapse Evacuates E. Garden City Building

Evacuee compares experience to 2011 Long Island earthquake.

The sidewalk outside an office building on Stewart Avenue in East Garden City collapsed Monday afternoon, forcing roughly 45 rattled workers to evacuate.

Jennifer Roth, a paralegal working for Leo Tekeil on the second floor of the building, located at 623 Stewart Ave., said the experience reminded her of the bizarre earthquake Long Island experienced last summer.

She, like the dozens of other employees inside the building, were going about their day when around 12:30 p.m., she said she felt a "rumbling" and then heard a "very large boom." 

Then, the fire alarms started to go off and people began to evacuate the building. As she tried to collect all her paperwork first, she looked outside the window and could see people gesturing her to get out, as her office suite is located directly above the section of concrete that gave out.

"It was scary," she added.

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The sidewalk that fell landed on a pipe causing it to burst and spray out water until the main source was shut off.

The area adjacent to the sidewalk that fell is currently under construction. The pavement has been removed, exposing an underground parking garage. Hanging in the first floor window of the building is a permit from the Town of Hempstead granting permission to Cow Bay Contracting, of Port Washington, to "construct interior alterations for future tenant." (According to Roth, a portion of the building's second floor is being gutted and renovated.)

Nassau County Police responded to the scene but could not disclose any information. Around 2 p.m., officers were still awaiting the arrival of the Town of Hempstead Building Inspector to investigate the scene and determine whether it was safe for the occupants to go back inside.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

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