Firefighters worked feverishly to get through debris of an apartment complex in Brooklyn that fell during construction recently. They were able to rescue five workers from fragments of metal that collapsed due to recently poured concrete. According to the Fire Department, one of the five workers died after being rescued following the construction accident.
Details of Construction Accident
As stated by Deputy Chief Michael Marrone of the Fire Department, three of the other laborers remained stable at Lutheran Medical Center, while the fifth, who was outside during the collapse, refused treatment.
The structure was designed with other apartment units close to Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach. It fell with a loud metallic screech that was audible for several blocks.
“It sounded like the second floor collapsed and the third floor followed. The slabs just came buckling down,” Robert Approbato, a worker on-site, told The New York Times. Approbato said the accident occurred after concrete was sent to the upper floors of the complex. Workers were heard screaming and yelling.
Nearby residents heard fragments of the building fall from a few blocks away. One such resident, Dennis Lenberski, said, “It was like two metal pieces breaking, then a crash. It was like a car accident.”
Buildings Department Commissioner Robert LiMandri explained that workers did not properly follow concrete pouring procedure. The workers started on the upper floors and worked down, when they should have begun at the lower floors. LiMandri said he considers this as a major contributing factor to the breakdown.
“We expect to take some action against some of the parties when we know exactly what happened,” said LiMandri.
Construction workers injured in an accident such as this have the available remedy of workers’ compensation to help them while they are injured. However, New York law is extremely protective of workers and under certain conditions the owner and/or contractor will be held liable for injuries that befall a worker (as long as they are not the worker’s direct employer) – this is in addition to workers’ compensations benefits due the worker. Every situation is different, so contact an experienced construction site accident attorney in your area to discuss your rights and options.