NEW YORK (AP) -- Stopping only to listen for survivors' screams, firefighters cut through the twisted planks and poles left when a building facade and adjoining scaffold collapsed, leaving five construction workers dead.
Eleven others were injured in the collapse at the 20-story Manhattan office building Wednesday, city officials said.
Rescue workers armed with flashlights worked late into the night to clear debris from the 20-foot pile of rubble. The loose bricks, broken wooden planks and bent metal poles were pulled from the pile and spread along neighboring streets within hours.
Crews had to be called from the World Trade Center disaster site, about 2 miles south, said Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, who spoke at the scene with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Wednesday.
As some 250 rescue workers hunted for victims, they stopped periodically to listen for tapping signals from survivors.
But they eventually removed all the trapped victims.
"All of the victims have been removed, and all of the debris that was trapping the victims has also been removed," fire department spokesman Robert Calise said early Thursday.
The construction crew was replacing bricks and working on windows when the facade tumbled into the courtyard of the building, authorities said. The scaffold was believed to stand 12 to 15 stories high. It wasn't clear where the workers were when it fell.
"We were working just as usual and suddenly the foreman started to say 'You have to hurry up to get rid of all the demolition material,"' worker Gary Hernandez said. "But there was a lot of demolition material on every floor and the weight suddenly gave in."
The cause of the collapse was still being investigated.
The 11 injured were taken to hospitals, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known.
One of the injured workers walked out of the building on his own before he was taken for treatment. A teary Mary DeJesus was at the scene when her injured husband, Juan DeJesus, was led out of the building. She hugged him before he left.
"He didn't know what happened," she said. "Everything happened so fast. I'm just glad that he's safe."
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