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.