Building Collapses in Brookline, Affecting BU Students

Roof of 68 Egmont St. covered in a tarp after a partial collapse on Sept. 15.

By Yating Zhang, Zhuoran Du, Zimei Zhu
BU News Service

BROOKLINE – A three-story apartment building at 68 Egmont St. suffered a partial collapse last month, forcing residents to temporarily move from their home.

The collapse was reported around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 15. No injuries were reported, but the residents had to be evacuated after the collapse. The majority of those living in the building are Boston University students.

“I was in class that time when I received a ‘BU Alert’ that my apartment building collapsed,” Wanchen Yin, who lives on the first floor of the building, said in Mandarin. “It sounded absolutely ridiculous to me. How can something like this happen to where I live? My roommate, who was in the building at the time of the collapse, told me that it felt like an earthquake.”

According to the affected students, two hours after the collapse, Boston University Police Department officials displaced 34 BU students to the BU IT Help Center, where information, support, and food were available. Later, the landlord Kafai Management paid for the residents to spend the night at the Holiday Inn hotel.

There are 12 apartments in the three-story building, which was built in the 1920s. According to town inspectors, Kafai Management Company is not obligated to conduct regular checks of the exterior wall of the building.

“Although I am not happy with the management company, I have no choice but to keep living here,” Yin said. “After all, the rent is very cheap and it’s only 15-minute walk to the BU campus”.  

Students were allowed back in the building the day after the collapse. Many of them say they returned reluctantly and are still worried about the building’s safety.

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