New York City is in a constant state of flux, a hive of demolition and new construction swarming with workers toiling in construction zones that often abut occupied structures. Unfortunately, amidst all of the activity, sometimes tragedies occur.
Such was the case this week at the site of a Manhattan excavation, when a 27-year-old construction worker from Jersey City died after being crushed by a huge concrete slab that fell onto him from an adjacent building. The work crew had been digging under the foundation to remove the soil when the fatality occurred around 1:30 p.m.
The commissioner of the Department of Buildings stated that the construction workers were engaged in a routine operation at the time of the fatal incident that also injured another worker who was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.
According to officials, work was being performed on a building on West 37th Street near its intersection with 8th Avenue at the future site of a hotel designed by esteemed architect Gene Kaufman. Cava Construction Company is in charge of the project.
Allegedly, the concrete that provided support to the foundation of the nearby building was loosened by the work. An occupant of the building involved in the accident saw only the man's arms sticking out from underneath of a slab that weighed an estimated several tons.
The man's co-workers attempted to lift the slab off of him, but it was too massive. Firefighters arrived and were able to free the construction worker. However, he was pronounced dead at the construction site.
According to a chief with the Fire Department New York, the adjacent building was evacuated due to fear that it was no longer structurally sound. After building inspectors determined the structure was stable, tenants were permitted to return.
If you have been injured in a construction worker accident in New York City, or if a loved one has died in an on-the-job accident, financial compensation my be available for your injuries and loss.
Source: New York Post, "Concrete slab falls on construction worker, killing him" Frank Rosario, Kirstan Conley and Daniel Prendergast, Sep. 23, 2014