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Brooklyn Construction Site Collapse Kills 1

Monday, September 17, 2018

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Late last week rescue crews recovered a body of a worker after a retaining wall collapsed Wednesday (Sept. 12) at a Brooklyn construction site.

What Happened

Officials say that six construction workers were digging about 30 feet below street level at the site of a one-story building, preparing to lay a foundation for a new manufacturing and health care facility.

At around 1:45 p.m., the workers were using an excavator when a wall partially collapsed. One man, Luis Almonte, 47, was trapped. Emergency responders searched for hours in the rain, according to reports.

Search dogs were brought to the scene, as well as several listening devices and drones, to help find the man to no avail. The weather also hindered the operation, as crews eventually had to break because the area became too unstable.

By around 5 p.m. Wednesday, the mission changed from rescue to recovery, and Almonte’s body was found Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Site

The property is owned by 348 37th St. LLC, according to The Real Deal, and two contractors are listed on the project: Ground to Sky City Builders Corp. and WSC Group LLC.

Neither company has a history of violations with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Buildings says that active permits were in order for the site, which showed that the existing single-story building was to become a four-story facility.

OSHA and the DOB are investigating the incident, along with engineers. The contractors have not commented on the incident.

“This is an incredibly unsafe work site,” said City Council member Carlos Menchaca. “These were immigrant workers. We’re looking at everything that was supposed to restrain that wall. We’re going to investigate any site this contractor has open.”

Menchaca went on to tell another news outlet that last week’s accident was “a wake-up call that we keep getting over and over again.”

"And these incredibly dangerous developers and construction companies are not adhering to the Department of Buildings standard on how to secure sites with retaining walls and that's what you're seeing here."


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

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