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2 Workers Killed in Separate NYC Fall Incidents

Monday, September 25, 2017

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Two construction workers were killed in two separate work site incidents that occurred on the same day (Sept. 21) in Manhattan.

The Manhattan West development site saw a fall that killed one man and injured another, while another fatal fall occurred just hours earlier in Lower Manhattan.

Manhattan West Fall

The two men involved in the Manhattan West incident, whose identities were not released as of Friday afternoon (Sept. 22), are both reported to be 45 years old and working for EJ Electric. Reports say they fell 36 feet out of a bucket lift at the One Manhattan West site, where they had been working on the 62-story mixed-use building.

"One of them hit face forward, and the other person just fell on his side," Christopher Gamboa, a construction worker, told Spectrum News NY1. "Once you saw the other guy fall, you already knew he was dead. He fell straight on his face."

One man was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was rushed to the hospital with reported head and body trauma.

According to NY1, both men had been seen wearing safety harnesses, but reports suggest they may have not been secured.

"The only comment we have is that we are cooperating with the authorities," said Christine Abreu, director of risk management and compliance at EJ Electric. Brookfield Properties, which owns the site, has not commented on the incident.

That project was also the site of a deadly 10-story fall in June, when a worker was doing a survey and stepped through a wooden platform. In that case, inspectors shut down the site but rescinded the order on June 21 after a safety plan had been submitted.

There are currently three open violations for the One Manhattan West site with the New York City Department of Buildings office.

Lower Manhattan Fall

Hours earlier, worker Juan Chonillo, 36, of Corona, New York, fell through a hole in a Lower Manhattan site, plummeting 29 stories to his death.

“They were freeing the crane from the building. The cable got stuck somehow,” fellow worker Angel Munoz told NY Daily News.

On Wednesday, the city issued a partial-stop work order due to unsafe operatons of a crane. Inspectors found that there was no permit for the crane at that site.

In 2017 alone, the site has been issued nine code violations and fined thousands of dollars, including a fine for using a tower crane without a warning light system.

Tishman Construction, the general contractor on the site of Chonillo’s accident, expressed its condolences in a statement, along with a promise to work with the relevant authorities to assist with the investigation into the incident. Chonillo was working for contractor Pizzarotti IBC, according to the DOB.

A source informed the NY Daily News that workers had been raising the concrete framework in order to begin pouring the 29th floor. Known as 1 Seaport, the building is a 670-foot luxury condo tower.

“He was trained and certified. I worked on three towers with him. He was always careful,” Munoz added. Reports say that, like the other two workers at the other job site, Chonillo was wearing a harness that was believed to have not been secured.

NBC's New York 4 confirmed with the DOB that it is investigating both incidents.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Fatalities; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America

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