Thursday, November 3, 2011

Construction Site Incidents on Rise

The collapse of a building under construction in Brooklyn on Wednesday, and a boom lift that stranded workers seven stories in the air on Thursday, are only two of several incidents at construction sites that have lead to injuries and deaths in the city this week. More than 30 construction workers died in falls and other events on job sites in New York City last year according the federal Department of Labor.

Rescued in The Nick of Time

A group of hero construction workers helped pull one of its own from certain death Wednesday when a wall collapsed at a Brooklyn construction site.

The crew was excavating a site on Church Avenue when a backhoe pulled too muck dirt from under the foundation of a neighboring building. The wall of the building, a beauty salon, began to crumble and fell on one of the workers, pinning him under debris.

A handful of hardhats rushed to the man's aid and pulled him from the rubble as the rest of the wall collapsed to the ground below.

The injured man was taken to Kings County Hospital where he was treated for a broken leg and a broken arm, and is expected to be okay.

The worker cheated death and is lucky to be alive, according to firefighters. The wreckage compromised the foundation of another building on the block, a clothing store. Officials from the city Department of Buildings is expected to order both damaged buildings demolished.

Boom Lift Stuck Near Top of New Jersey Church

Two construction workers were stuck at the top of a church steeple for almost three hours Thursday afternoon. The men were inside a bucket positioned 125 feet above the ground, near the top of the United Methodist Church in Morristown.

A fire department ladder truck responded to the scene as a large crowd gathered to watch the event unfold, but it was not able to reach the men. A police helicopter arrived at the scene and another ladder was deployed, but it was also too short to reach the stranded workers.

By 4:30, a construction crane with a much longer boom had arrived to rescue the men from their stuck perch, bringing them safely to the ground.

A safety mechanism on the boom lift kicked in after it struck the side of the steeple around 2PM.

Bronx Building Collapse Kills Construction Worker

A construction worker was killed after a building he was working in collapsed and buried him under six feet of rubble on Saturday afternoon.

About a dozen pillars in the basement of a two-story commercial building had given way, causing the building to collapse. Two workers were jack hammering when a 50-foot section of ceiling above collapsed on them. Two other construction workers escaped unharmed.

Firefighters dug Mohamed Kebbeh out from under the rubble with their bare hands about 10 minutes after the collapse, according a FDNY spokesperson. Around 50 firefighters responded to the scene.

“He was buried under six feet of bricks and other debris,” Deputy Chief Donlevy said. “He was hurt pretty bad.” The chief said that a construction crew was doing active demolition in the basement of the building at the time. Mr. Kebbehof of the Bronx died at Jacobi Medical Center shortly after the accident.
By Peter Coyne /