Thousands of pounds of construction material fell through a roof of a building, crashing into an Astoria home on Tuesday afternoon leaving three construction workers seriously injured and one trapped for almost two hours.
The material included; laminated beams and bags of cement. The material was lifted to the top of the two story building on 31-25 28th Road, using a crane. However once there, the roof couldn’t withstand the weight. It collapsed, trapping the three construction workers underneath it, according to the FDNY.
At 3:41PM, fire officials were called in. They found a 37 year old worker who had managed to get out of the building soon after it collapsed. Another worker, a 40 year old, was trapped under the rubble and removed shortly after FDNY arrived.
The third worker, a 28 year old male, was unfortunately trapped for almost two hours under thousands of pounds of construction material. Firefighters, rescue medics and NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit worked on end to get him out.
After crawling through debris, rescuers were finally able to reach the worker as firefighters dug a trench in order to get him out, according to DNAinfo.
The worker was kept conscious through the entire rescue operation. In a statement, Commissioner Daniel Nigro stated, “Rescue medics that work here are able to do things that no one else can do…..They crawled in there, they administered IV drugs for a crushing injury and pain relief, and kept this person stable as our members dug out these few thousand pounds of material to get this gentleman out.”
Just after 5:30PM, the rescue was successful and the worker was finally removed from under the material. All three workers were taken to Elmhurst Hospital and listed as in critical condition.
There was also a search and rescue, using dogs, that the NYPD conducted to search for more victims. According to reports, no other people were found. The Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement for the Department of Buildings, Timothy Hogan, stated that the owners of the home had all the proper permits to add a third additional story. The issue was that construction materials were supposed to be delivered to the ground level and not the roof. Materials that are delivered to an upper level are meant to be cleared by an engineer, Hogan said.
There is now an investigation to see if that approval was met. Neighbors were concerned about the extra material on the roof since the project started. With one, Irene Sanitate, 67, telling DNAinfo, “the house is old, and when I saw all that material on the roof from day one, I said it’s too much weight…..That was my concern. A lot of cinderblock.”
*Featured Image Via Katie Honan/DNAinfo