Questions are swirling around the site of an Astoria, Queens, construction project this week where three workers were trapped in a roof collapse on 28th Road. The trapped workers suffered serious injuries in Tuesday's entrapment in the New York borough.
According to initial reports from the Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement of the Buildings Department charged with investigating the structural collapse, loads of heavy materials were dropped on top of the two-story home.
A third floor was in being added to the dwelling, and the debris entrapping the building crew members included concrete blocks, cement bags, sand aggregate and 1,200-lb. laminate beams, said the Commissioner of the Fire Department New York (FDNY).
Early reports indicated a crane dropped a load on the roof of the home. However, authorities later acknowledged that the crane had left the site long before the heavy construction material caused the roof to collapse.
The deputy commissioner said that regulations call for all deliveries of heavy equipment to be routed to the ground floor unless engineers have given the okay to load materials on the roof. Whether engineers were consulted and agreed to the roof loading remains unclear.
Local media outlet CBS2 reported that the three workers were entrapped in the home's basement area. The FDNY commissioner stated that by the time rescue crews arrived, one worker, 37, had managed to free himself from the debris. His injuries were listed as serious.
Rescuers discovered another construction worker, 40, still under debris, but alive. They worked quickly to extricate the critically injured man from the pile of weighty materials.
In order to save the third man who was entrapped, rescue crews had to crawl through the debris to start an intravenous line to provide pain relief and stabilize the man's condition.
The 28-year-old worker was conscious during the rescue. Several thousand pounds of construction materials buried him, leaving him covered horizontally by wooden planks from "his face all the way down to his ankle," reported one lieutenant with the FDNY.
A reporter from WCBS 880 stated that the worker was "in a great deal of pain" and "very scared." Although he was able to communicate with his rescuers, his condition was considered to be critical.
All of the injured men were transported to a local hospital.
Anyone suffering similar injuries in a construction accident may choose to pursue compensation for their injuries.
Source: CBS New York, "Three Workers Hurt, Rescued In Astoria Construction Accident," June 20, 2017