Five workers were trapped under debris and corrugated metal when a building in Brooklyn reportedly collapsed. All five workers were rescued by the New York Fire Department, but one later died. Of the other four workers, one declined treatment and the remaining three are in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center, according to the New York Times. The building, at 2929 Brighton Fifth Street near Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, was a five-story building housing fourteen apartment buildings.
The Commissioner of the Buildings Department, Robert LiMandri, said that the workers were pouring concrete starting at the top floors and working their way down. Officials stressed that the accepted safe practice is to start at the bottom and work to the top because it stabilizes the building. LiMandri said that they were pouring concrete in the wrong sequence, and we believe that that is a major contributor to this collapse, according to reports. Work permits were issued in July, 2011, and while a complaint was issued earlier in November for after-hours work at the site, this is not believed to be related to the accident. The Buildings Department has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
Just last month, scaffolding fell from a building on West 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, hitting a bus and injuring 17 people. The five-story brick building was being demolished when bricks fell and caused the scaffolding to collapse onto the sidewalk, bus, and street. Though seventeen were injured, all of the victims are expected to survive. Sadly though, these types of construction accidents are not uncommon. New York witnessed 218 construction-related accidents and 241 injuries in the 2009 calendar year.
Due to the use hazardous materials, large machinery, and the nature of the construction industry, construction sites are inherently dangerous for crews, bystanders, and rescuers. Construction accidents can be very serious and costly. 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. Contact a New York construction accident attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and that you can seek maximum compensation.