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Trouble Off W. 240th: Burst Pipe and Auto Accident Near South Campus

A broken pipe caused a sidewalk to collapse outside Leo Engineering Building last Saturday and was followed by a nearby truck accident 2 days later, just prior to the start of the Spring semester.

Both incidents occurred a short distance from W. 240th St., a road that cuts through Manhattan College’s South Campus and is heavily used by students and faculty.

The water main running along Tibbett Ave. broke early Saturday afternoon, shutting down vehicular traffic between W. 240th St. and W. 238th St., and pedestrian traffic outside the now-closed Riverdale Body Shop while repairs were made by a road crew from New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection.

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The broken pipe outside Leo caused a sidewalk to collapse. The area is used by many students and faculty to get to Leo and around the Riverdale area. JOSEPH LIGGIO / THE QUADRANGLE

One worker at the site who wished to remain anonymous explained that the flooding from the pipe caused “a small but significant collapse,” as water inundated a section of the road and sidewalk. The DEP crew worked quickly to backfill the affected area with dirt to replace what was swept away by the water. The broken ground was patched with new asphalt by nightfall, and permanent sidewalk repairs are expected to come in the near future.

Vice President for Facilities Andrew Ryan confirmed via email that the college was not impacted in any way by the incident, and that the pipe was not connected to Leo Hall.

“There was no potential safety impact on the College’s students, faculty or staff, […] The damaged pipe was the responsibility of NYC and the repairs were undertaken by NYC,” said Ryan.

According to a MC webpage, the school’s Physical Plant department “performs all general maintenance for the entire College community,” but the office was not involved in this particular repair.

Just 2 blocks away on the following Monday, a NYC Department of Sanitation truck struck a pillar underneath the 1 Train subway tracks at the intersection of W. 240th St. and Broadway, a short distance outside of the College’s 240th St. Parking Lot.

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The passenger of the Department of Sanitation truck was the only one injured at the scene of the crash, but he remained responsive while being attended to by the NYPD. JOSEPH LIGGIO / THE QUADRANGLE

The right side of the vehicle was damaged, and a passenger sitting on the impacted side during the crash was removed from the truck with apparent injuries. The man’s head was bloodied but he remained conscious and responsive as he was attended to by the NYPD in front of the Riverdale Chrysler Jeep Auto Dealership.

Additional police arrived at the scene within a few minutes, followed by the FDNY and an ambulance. The truck was removed a few hours later.

Like the burst pipe, the accident did not impact the college. No notice was sent out to students regarding either incident as a result.

Manhattan College’s office for Public Safety did not respond to a request for comment regarding either occurrence.

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