Friday, March 23, 2012

Death at Columbia project

From DNA Info:

A 69-year-old construction worker was killed and two others seriously injured when a violation-plagued building recently bought by Columbia University collapsed in Harlem

Thursday morning during demolition work, authorities said.

The tragic incident unfolded at the one-story structure at 604-606 W. 131st St., near Broadway, about 7:51 a.m., FDNY officials said.

All three victims — Juan Ruiz, 69, King Range, 60, and Sakim Kirby, 30, all of The Bronx — were pulled from the wreckage by hand. Ruiz and Range were rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital with life-threatening injuries and Kirby suffered serious injures, fire officials said.

Ruiz was later pronounced dead.

"I just seen brick falling on the workers. I just seen people running towards it but they couldn’t get them out," said witness Willy Katende, 46, who lives nearby.
"It sounded like bomb — boom. It came down so fast," he added. "The whole thing came down.”

According to FDNY and Department of Buildings offficials, the workers were cutting a structural beam near the building's perimeter wall when steel, concrete and red brick began raining down on them.

Two of the workers, including Ruiz, were partially buried by rubble near the center of the building. The third was buried near the building's northwest corner about 50 feet from them, officials said.


Anonymous said...

The company involved, Breeze Demolition, happens to be the firm that tore down Shea Stadium.

Anonymous said...

The DOB is still seriously dysfunctional and allegedly still corrupt. They are incapable of doing what they are mandated to do. They fail to enforce the Codes and laws on a daily basis. And, the culprits continue to break the laws and abuse the Codes on a daily basis. The deterrents are apparently not working. Deterrents?

The DOB and its Commissioners need to be held accountable. They have a "special duty" to protect us and our property. Perhaps a Class Action Law suit would wake them up.

They are understaffed and their inspectors are incapable of doing their job as it should be done. That is blatantly obvious. There is no excuse for this. They need to be disbanned. The inspectors purposely overlook violations and fail to issue the appropriate fines. The DOB has to find a way to require that each and every violation after issuance is made to be cleared up and fines paid, prior to anymore work at all being done at the site. The sites need to be PADLOCKED until everthing is cleared up.

The DOB and their Commissioners apparently cannot handle the job of overseeing the Boroughs. They literally do not know what end is up.

You have to ride shootgun over the construction sites that affect your lives. They want us the citizens to be vigilante. So we call and make the legitimate complaints and what happens. They come to early or too late and that is so predictable. Or, sometimes they don't come at all. The best is when you make a complaint and the owner/developmer arrives at the site and clears out the workers minutes after you made the call -- you can guess what might be going on here. Do they have a direct pipeline? You be the judge of that. I know what I believe is going on. There is no reason why all of this is being allowed to continue. None whatsoever.

Yet, they keep promoting more building. They keep holding those seminars about increased transparency, safer construction,tripled fines, etc. This is a real serious matter. People are dying.

Maybe we should try something new. Perhaps we can have the military patrol and supervise these construction dangerous construction sites to make sure the players comply. They can see that the site is properly permitted; required supervisor staff is in place; check i.d.s.

Nothing has improved.

People are dying.

Then, you have the irresponsible and notorious owners/developers who hold their licensed general contractors and licensed superintendents of construction hostage. Commanding them to do illegal construction; work without permits and other illegal chores. These individuals need to be held accountable. They are contributing to the lose of lives. Then you have the desperate workers that are untrained and sometimes working illegally putting themselves in danger and allowing themselves to be killed.

They are all so desperate for jobs they follow orders that put them in danger and break the laws from owners and developers to do unsafe and illegal construction work. Or else, they withhold their monies. That's a Huang tactic allegedly.

Until those outstanding violations are paid no one should be working. If a owner/developer, general contractor are issued a violation, no work should be allowed to continue at the site where the violation was issued until the fine is paid and the issue resolved.

If you don't pay your parking tickets, they tow your car. They should tow the construction vehicles on the site no matter who they are owned by as well.

These sites are not properly supervised. Oversight by the DOB is virtually non-existent.

Construction superintendents are often not even on site as required when dangerous work is being done. When this happens they should lose their DOB license immediately and be brought up on charges.

Then you have employees that insist on working even though they have not been properly trained willing to risk their lives.