Scaffolding fell from a building on West 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, hitting a bus and injuring 17 people, according to the New York Times. The five-story brick building was being demolished when bricks fell and caused the scaffolding to collapse onto the sidewalk, bus, and street. The vehicle was a Bx15 MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) bus headed west on 125th Street towards the Bronx with about thirty passengers. Police said that eight injured people were brought to St. Luke s Roosevelt Hospital. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.
The company doing the demolition was Disano Demolition of Queens. Allegedly, the demolition site had received permits but that the buildings department received a complaint about the project on September 7th. Despite the complaint, department inspectors found nothing wrong with the site upon examination. According to the New York Times, work being done inside the elevator shaft caused the bricks to fall and knock down the scaffolding. Considering that around twenty-five people were under the scaffolding waiting for the bus at the time of the collapse, it is thankful that there were no fatalities.
Construction accidents occur fairly frequently, for a host of reasons. Some of these reasons are the fault of the construction company or crew, including safety regulation violations, negligence, defective materials, a lack of safety equipment, badly maintained equipment, lack of quality supervision, improper signage, and a lack of safety training. According to the New York City Department of Buildings, in 2010 there were 157 construction-related accidents in New York City alone.
Due to the use of heavy machinery, the handling of hazardous materials, and the nature of the industry, construction sites are inherently dangerous both for crews and bystanders. These accidents can be very serious and costly. If the accident is not fatal, workers compensation benefits are sometimes not enough to sufficiently compensate the worker for his or her injuries. If you or a loved one is injured in a construction accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job or as a bystander, contact a dedicated New York construction accident attorney to find out if you have legal recourse.