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Yesterday afternoon, the roof of 103 Meserole Street in East Williamsburg collapsed on top of eleven workers who had been renovating the building. At first, area residents said it sounded like a huge explosion. The Buildings Department says that the owner had been given a permit for "vertical enlargement" - gutting the building for a new facade, replaced beams, and new windows - and the FDNY explained what happened: "Both side walls were being scaffolded and they were putting blocks up so they could raise the flooring, raise the roof of the building and enlarge the space. The block came loose, collapsing the scaffolding, trapping the workers underneath."Two of the workers were critically injured, but luckily there were no fatalities. The NY Times adds that there's been a history of "tension" between landlord and tenants, and that the building had been issued violations before, but none relating to the building soundness; the Buildings Department is still investigating. Yikes, this is the second building collapse in Brooklyn this month, and with last week's dirtslide, Gothamist wonders about building owners' and the Buildings Department's abilities to monitor the safety of city buildings and how effective they are with addressing problems.

Reader David let us know he had some pictures of people waiting around the collapse scene on Flickr, including the one above. Thanks.