CUPERTINO (KPIX 5) — Dramatic video of a mall wall collapsing during a demolition job in Cupertino appears to show falling debris just missing construction workers and passing cars.
The incident happened at the old Vallco Mall Thursday where demolition of the mall began over a year ago.
A man named Mark Yauk, who was watching the demolition from across the street, provided KPIX with the video. It showed a large chunk of wall falling away from the main building and towards Wolfe Road.
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While most of the pieces land within the construction fence, a cloud of debris, including large chunks of insulation fall onto an active Wolfe Road below.
KPIX showed the video to people who live and work in the area to get their reactions.
“I feel like it was done at the wrong time and it was very unsafe,” said delivery driver Mike Koran.
“I cannot believe they knocked it down like that. And the street’s open,” said Bethany Shore, who lives across the street.
The beer garden across from the project was packed with people, many who were surprised at what they just witnessed.
“That looked like it could have killed people. Smashed them, hurt them pretty bad,” said Shore.
The city of Cupertino sent KPIX a statement saying They were aware of the situation and understand that it took place as part of the demolition at that site. The City is taking steps to better control the demolition activity. An inspector is currently on site and working with the property owner’s contractor.
People KPIX spoke with said they would stay on the alert during the project.
“The street should have been closed, because that’s a real serious video,” said Koran.
“I’m not going to walk past there at all. Not while they’re doing construction. That’s dangerous,” said Shore.
Once the demolition is over, the construction begins, so this neighborhood will be in the thick of it for some time. It will eventually be a mixed-use housing and business complex.
KPIX received a response from a representative for the developer.
The statement read in part, “While this video and its commentary may look sensational due to the dust and insulation blowout, at no time was there any risk to the public.”
However, the developers said they were reviewing the incident.
The project still faces a legal challenge. Community activists and officials with the city of Cupertino say the project should focus on creating more affordable housing.