At one NYCHA building in Coney Island, the smell is making people sick. “This smell is unbelievable. It’s like something died,” said MTA worker Steven St. Barnard of the stench, adding that his daughter “woke up gagging” recently and had to be rushed to the hospital.

“How long will we be breathing this in before they clean it?” asked Shanna Estevez, whose mother was hospitalized for severe shortness of breath. “We have children in this building.”

The reason? Hurricane Sandy broke the building’s basement garbage compactor, leaving towers of trash stuck in the chutes. Then, when the city brought in cans, those quickly overflowed and only added to the stench. Residents are calling for the city to come in and remedy the situation, and though the compactor has been repaired, the smell remains.

It’s not just general quality of life residents are worried about. Brooklyn Paper reports instances of reactive airway disease, bronchitis, and sick animals in the wake of the storm.

“They really need to do more to clean this place up,” said Sandra Reeves, who said she’s seen maggots on the floor near the trash cans. “They should get more people in here.”

(Photo: Alex Chaffee/Flickr)