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Accident injures two and damages cars at Atlantic Yards

The Brooklyn Paper
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Brooklynites have slung a lot of mud at Bruce Ratner’s controversial Atlantic Yards Project over the years. On Tuesday, the project returned the favor.

A drill accident at the eastern end of the biggest construction project in Brooklyn’s history sent egg-sized chunks of packed dirt and small stones raining down on unsuspecting pedestrians and commuters at the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic avenues on June 21 — leaving two injuries and more than seven damaged cars.

Witnesses said they heard an explosion at around 10:30 am as a hydraulic drill malfunctioned, sending dirt and rocks flying into the air.

“I heard this loud sound, but I didn’t know where it was coming from,” said motorist Yahya Alshemi, who was caught under a wave of mud pies. “Then rocks and dirt started falling all over my car.”

Chunks of dirt blanketed Alshemi’s car for nearly two minutes. One hunk slammed his windshield, causing it to spider web.

“I was very frightened,” he recalled. “Driving your car is a daily activity. This isn’t something you expect to happen.”

Motorists pulled over until the storm passed, but many suffered busted windows, rear windows and sunroofs.

All was not lost: a project manager at the site promised to pay any damage caused by the accident. Alshemi immediately went to a nearby repair shop and had his window replaced.

Not everyone was so lucky. Two people suffered light injuries, officials said. One person was sent to a local hospital with a slight head wound. The other was treated at the scene — the former BP station at the corner of Atlantic and Vanderbilt avenues.

The pile driving at the site is expected to continue for two months as part of developer Forest City Ratner’s infrastructure work on the Long Island Rail Road’s Vanderbilt Yards. The company — which is currently building the Barclays Center to house the Brooklyn-bound Nets — did not return calls.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
This isn't something new here. I can remember when demolition work was done on the Ward Bakery and that to hit whatever was surrounding it. There wouldn't be a surprise if Ratner bribed inspectors to look away from this either. Maybe another lawsuit can be placed to make sure that this is delayed even further or even stop the arena from comming due to negligence.
June 23, 2011, 7:28 am
tony from sunset park says:
I think you need to qualify your "biggest construction project in Brooklyn" designation. The biggest remains the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge - it took hundreds of houses, entires blocks of small private well-kept homes in the early 1960's. In fact, maybe the widening of the Gowanus Highway into the Expressway by Robert Moses was the biggest - demolishing all the homes & stores on the east side of 3rd Avenue in Sunset Park. In one fell swoop, half the retail businesses were gone and with them hundreds of homes. (this project can be viewed as part of the Verrazano Bridge project in that it was part of the needed feeder road expansion).

I think we'd have to also include the building of the Williamsburg bank building as a possibly bigger than the yards project, and for that matter, Kings Plaza.

maybe call the yards, the biggest recent brooklyn project....lol
June 23, 2011, 7:50 am
Dan from Greenpoint says:
Calvin Francis’s 2009 Honda... what are you waiting for get it fix will ya?
June 23, 2011, 9:48 am
P. Krashes from Prospect Heights says:
For further information and background go here:
http://www.atlanticyardswatch.net/node/102
June 23, 2011, 11:25 am
steven says:
Once 4th ave, atlantic and flatbush is backed up you are not moving anywhere in brooklyn This project was
Poor planning.
June 25, 2011, 4:57 pm

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