Early this morning, another delay hit the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building, damaged in the September 11 attacks, as a power distribution box had a small electrical fire. The Buildings Department issued a stop work order on the whole site as a result. While officials were not able to say how long work would be halted, it seems like it’s bound to take at least a few days.
“In this site, they’re going to have to have an engineer to come in and ensure that the electricity throughout the building is safe,” said Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Buildings. “After that’s done, we’re going to inspect.”
In 2007, the tower was quickly moving toward deconstruction until August of that year, when a fire broke out, killing two firefighters. Since, the job has become the subject of extraordinary regulatory scrutiny. It’s now going through a slower deconstruction process, in which contractors first strip the building essentially down to the steel, and then begin dismantling it. After well over a year of work, abatement of he building, known as 130 Liberty Street, was nearing completion, as it was slated to be finished at the end of April. Deconstruction was scheduled to start mid-May.
Here’s a statement the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which owns the building, issued to the community today:
At approximately 2:45 AM this morning there was an electrical incident with a power distribution box. Personnel were evacuated from the building and the FDNY was notified and responded immediately. The cause of the incident is being investigated. Work has been stopped at the direction the New York City Department of Buildings.