The city mandates maintenance of building facades to prevent catastrophe. But in this case, it was the work itself that was the danger.
No members of the public were hurt in the collapse.
Officials say the contractor is Edras Group Corporation of Belleville, New Jersey, which has no open violations, but has been cited 43 times for safety violations in the past 10 years.
Council member Ben Kallos released the following statement:
"We cannot keep watching bricks fall, scaffolding collapse, injuring and killing New Yorkers. These bricks should never have been allowed to deteriorate to the point that they fell and the scaffolding should never have collapsed. We must pass a law forcing the inspection of every inch of scaffolding as soon as possible. We must pass a law to require building owners to maintain their buildings or step in as a city and do the work ourselves. My deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and injured in this latest collapse and they have my pledge to keep fighting so no one faces the same threat."