One person is confirmed dead after a tractor-trailer carrying a number of cars crashed into Simeon’s on The Commons around 4:10 Friday afternoon.
Witness accounts reported the tractor trailer lost control of the truck as it made its way down East State Street and eventually crashed into the front of the building.
Police, fire and ambulance crews lined East State and Aurora streets for the entire evening, as they worked to find out who was inside the building, and who was injured.
Ithaca Fire Lieutenant Tom Basher says the building suffered severe damage and the clean up process could last through the Saturday morning hours.
As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, crews had started tearing down a portion of the building.
“We’re actually going to peel, bit by bit, about 20 percent of the building away,” said Mayor Svante Myrick. “We’re going to place the pieces of building off of the truck, and then we’re going to pull the truck out.”
WHCU’s Pete Blanchard and Brendan Callahan were at the scene Friday night, and reported that emergency crews were giving local residents masks to wear, as dust was building up as crews tore down parts of the building.
City officials said early Friday night that there was some risk that part of the building could collapse.
Officials at Cayuga Medical Center confirmed early Friday evening that they had received six people with non life-threatening injuries from the scene. A seventh person was transported after that to the hospital.
The first floor of the historic building was home to Simeon’s Restaurant. The second, third and fourth floors were a mix of office and apartment space.
According to Simeon’s website, the building is more than 135 years old.