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Four Buildings in Brooklyn Left unstable After Digging of a Mysterious 60-Feet Tunnel

City inspectors and police officers outside the Brooklyn borough, N.Y., headquarters of the Chabad movement, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. The building was evacuated after a tunnel was discovered Monday evening. (AP Photo/Jake Offenhartz)

A secret tunnel found under a Hasidic Jewish Center

A tunnel was dug under a New York City synagogue. It was discovered by the officials of NYPD on Monday when a neighbor complained about some mysterious voices at night.

The crude tunnel is under emergency works right now. An effort is being put to stabilize the two buildings above it. The police officials arrived at the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish Center in Brooklyn.

Some people refused to leave the tunnel. Some of them even stayed inside the tunnel when the crews tried to fill it. The makeshift tunnel was secretly dug under the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters located at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.

City inspectors and police officers outside the Brooklyn borough, N.Y., headquarters of the Chabad movement, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. The building was evacuated after a tunnel was discovered Monday evening.

The NYPD was called the next day. They found out that the mysterious tunnel was about 60 feet long. It connected four buildings located on the Eastern Parkway. The tunnel was illegally built. There were no approvals or permits that could be found for the construction of the tunnel.

The tunnel is eight feet wide and 5 feet high. The officials even stated that the tunnel had inadequate rudimentary shoring in place. Several wall openings can be seen in several areas under the adjacent buildings at the basement levels. The tunnel was filled with tools and debris and was very unclean.

Buildings to be vacated

The tunnel has caused partial structural stability issues to the two buildings it has been dug under according to the city engineers. Hence, partial vacate orders have been given to people residing in the two buildings. Not only that but people residing at 302 Kingston Avenue have been told to vacate the place due to fire safety concerns as the fire-rated walls were removed which were present in the cellar and the first floor of the building. The other buildings have not been given any orders to vacate the place by the officials.

The illegal excavation had to be stabilized immediately by “professionally designed engineered shoring and backfilling the tunnel.” The orders have been given by the building department as the digging of the tunnel weakened its foundation. Two main violations have been done due to the illegal digging.


Emergency stabilization to be done

The emergency stabilization work is necessary and the NYC Department of Buildings will make sure to monitor this work. Additional actions might also be taken for the safety of the public. If necessary, the tunnel will be filled.

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement and the synagogue leadership had been battling for a long time for the ownership of the building. The tunnel was discovered back in December.

The Chabad students showed up in huge numbers to protect the tunnel from being filled up by the crew members. The students were ranging from teens to early twenties.

Chabad students arrested for obstruction

The students have been termed as extremists. Five of them have been charged with obstruction. The students defied police orders and even interfered with the police when they tried to arrest these students.

Dov Bear Shenhav (20), Shmuel Malka (19), Blumenfeld Yerachmiel (20), Henacham Mulakando (19), and Levi Tyz Lahav (20) are the students who have been charged with the above-mentioned crimes.

An expansion plan was being carried out by the supporters of the tunnel. It had been envisioned by the former head of the Chabad movement as reported by the Associated Press. The property experiences a huge amount of visitors every year.

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