Three construction workers were seriously injured in a construction accident that took place in Astoria, Queens. The three men became trapped when the upper portion of the house they were working on collapsed on top of them. It is reportedly a two-story building that has been permitted to add a third story.
One of the victims, a 37-year-old man, managed to free himself before emergency responders arrived and was reported to be suffering from serious injuries. Firefighters found a second man trapped and was able to rescue him quickly. The 40-year-old man was listed in critical condition.
The third victim, a 28-year-old man, was trapped in the basement, beneath several thousand pounds of material. It took rescue crews more than two hours before they were finally able to free him.
During this time, the victim was conscious and communicating with rescue workers, but in intense pain. Paramedics were able to crawl in the area the man was trapped and administer an IV for pain. He is reported to be in stable but critical condition.
According to a spokesperson from the Buildings Department, a crane had delivered a heavy load of construction material and placed it on the roof of the house. Regulations require that heavy equipment is to be sent to lower levels unless engineers have given permission for roof placement.
The spokesperson did not know if permission had been granted when the accident occurred. The material that fell on the workers included bags of cement, sand aggregate, concrete blocks, and 1,200-pound beams.
Both OSHA and the city are investigating the construction accident. The contractor has been cited for failing to safeguard the work site, and a stop work order has been issued for the location.
Construction site accidents continue to occur at an alarming rate, despite the regulations that have been put in place to protect workers. Too many times, contractors cut corners, putting profit over safety, and the results for workers can be fatal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction site accident, contact a New York workers injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the party or parties responsible for your injuries.