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Patch Exclusive Photos: Collapse At Old Spring Valley H.S. Traps Worker

Officials: Stop work order issued; renovation being done without permits, OSHA investigating workplace violations. Firefighters, workers exposed to asbestos.

The Village of Spring Valley has issued a stop work order at the old Spring Valley High School, where officials said renovation work being done without permits led to the collapse of a mezzanine in the auditorium and a worker being briefly trapped in the rubble.

Although two workers suffered only minor injures in the collapse at the building, now the site of the United Talmudical Academy, officials said workers and emergency personnel were exposed to asbestos inside the building.

Spring Valley Fire Department Capt. Ray Canario said that all of his departments volunteers who were in the building on Friday to investigate the collapse had to turn in their firefighting "bunker gear" so it could be bagged and stored in a secure area to be deconaminated.

Canario said Spring Valley has issued a stop work order on the renovations of the old high school and that work was being done without required permits and approvals. Canario said he also called in inspectors from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to investigate the worksite.

Inside the old high school, workers on Friday were using a jackhammer for demolition work. Canario said that at about 1:17 p.m. an emerency call was received alerting police and firefighters that an area about 10-feet by 10-feet of the mezzanine in the auditorium had collaped.

Canario said two workers were in the area of the collapse, and one worker was trapped by falling debris. However, the worker was able to free himself from the debris. Both workers were taken to the hospital for treatment.

A third worker in the building was not in the area affected by the collapse.

Police and firefighters searched the building for anyone who might have been trapped or injured.

"We're amazed no one was killed in this," said Canario.

During the search of the building, officials said they discovered exposed asbestors. As a result, Canario said all of the gear used by firefighters needs to be specially cleaned to remove any asbestos — a natural mineral that has long been used for insulation and heat protection but can cause illness when it gets into the lungs.

Mike Hirsch May 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
As a contractor, I am generally not in favor of the heavy-handedness that OSHA sometimes employs, but in this case I hope that they levy the maximum fines and penalties, which can be substantial.
F*** May 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
United Talmudical Academy - pretty much says it all.
eight4five May 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The Satmar Hasidic Jewish religious institution filed for the permit but had not gotten approval as the Building Department still was reviewing its plans for the old East Ramapo School District Administration building
BenRound May 19, 2012 at 02:46 PM
How did the village officials not notice the dumpster and obvious signs of demolition taking place? The village has been taken over.
Craig S. May 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM
How is that relevant? They applied but it was not approved so they started work anyway - that's just playing with the words - they were working without any permits period. Typical BS that goes on in Ramapo everyday.
Watchdog May 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
The Jewish HASIDIM BLOC work together with their blood brothers in Solidarity, the UNIONS, to keep unsavory politicians in office, who look the other way on these many, frequent and obvious transgressions by the BLOC. We are DOOMED if we keep voting for people like St. Lawrence, Vanderhoef and Gromack.
Charles May 19, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Nothing, absolutely nothing, will be done to them!!! They can cause as much havoc as they want and get away with it !! In New Square, the built a house over an eight inch sanitary sewer line, and also partially in the STREET!! They do want they want, as you can see!!!
Tony T May 19, 2012 at 04:44 PM
No permits.......would you expect different for that community?
Gregg May 19, 2012 at 08:41 PM
You really do need to move soon
Meg Wilson May 20, 2012 at 02:29 AM
All these comments are right on, but still nothing is done about these illegal matters that happen year after year in these "religious" communities. They pay cash, after all..
Janey W May 22, 2012 at 12:38 AM
ditto

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