1 Worker Dies, 3 Injured in Wall Collapse at Demolition Site

March 9, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — A worker died after a wall collapsed at a New York City demolition site and buried him in rubble, authorities said.

The collapse happened Tuesday at a three-story building being demolished on Lafayette Street in lower Manhattan, city Department of Buildings spokesperson David Maggiotto said.

FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens said that when the wall and its scaffold gave way at about 1 p.m., one worker was trapped by the debris and two others fell on top of it. One additional worker also was injured, he said.

Firefighters responded within four minutes and were able dig the buried worker out from the debris, Hodgens said at a news conference at the scene.

The worker was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released. The other three workers were treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said.

Buildings department officials said the four workers were employed by RJB Contracting Carting Corp. A message seeking comment was sent to the company Wednesday.

Maggiotto said the contractor was cited Feb. 7 for five violations including tarps unsafely hanging from the scaffold and overloading the first floor with 50 tons of construction material, but the contractor corrected the problems and inspectors determined it was safe to resume work at the site.

Tuesday’s fatality was the first death of a construction worker in New York City in 2023. There were 11 construction deaths in the city in 2022.

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