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Construction Worker Killed In Fall From Scaffolding At Midtown Hotel

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A construction worker fell to his death from scaffolding outside a Midtown hotel Wednesday afternoon.

As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, the accident happened around 2:10 p.m. Wednesday after falling from scaffolding around the Dream Hotel, at 210 W. 55th St. near Broadway.

He was working on the façade of the building using a supported scaffold at the time, and fell about 80 feet through an area that was unprotected due to the removal of planks, the Department of Buildings said.

The people in nearby tall buildings had a horrific view.

“Horrifying, and really, something I can’t unsee, unfortunately,” said witness Jennifer Harvey.

The renovation of the hotel has been going on for a little under a year. But all work was halted until further notice after the fatal fall.

Witnesses said the unidentified construction worker was eight floors up when he fell to his death. His body landed on the scaffolding directly above the main entrance of the hotel – in full view of people in high-rise buildings all around.

“It was a horrifying sight. The body was just crumpled up on top of the awning up there,” Harvey told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “It was really awful.”

She said authorities at the scene would not hide the body from sight.

“We actually came down here and asked them to cover the body out of respect, and they said they can’t – that it’s under investigation, so don’t look out the window,” Harvey said.

Even before the accident, people who saw the worksite wondered if proper precautions were being taken.

“I was mostly concerned because he was on his own up there. It didn’t seem like there was anybody around getting to save him,” said witness Jackie Blum.

“We do see the workers often out there without harnesses on, so it’s always kind of scary when we’re watching out the window,” Harvey added.

The Department of Buildings issued a full stop work order, and a violation for failure to safeguard persons or property affected by construction operations.

The victim worked for Alpha General Contractor of New York, the Department of Buildings said.

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