NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four people, including a firefighter, were hurt Friday in a construction accident in Midtown Friday morning.
A strong gust of wind likely knocked a construction shed over and sent debris flying below and onto pedestrians around 10 a.m. on West 40th Street.
The plywood and metal shed was enclosing construction work at a restaurant that was being renovated.
Witness David Johnson watched helplessly as the plywood fence came toppling down at the intersection of 41st. and 7th Avenue.
“When the rain started, the wind was 60 or 70 miles per hour, grabbed the scaffolding and took it down,” Johnson said.
Other witnesses said some of the victims were trapped under the debris.
“I started to hear people scream,” said witness Mathew Mitchel. “I saw people getting pulled from under the scaffolding.”
“We started lifting all the plywood,” said Greg Muse, who works nearby. “There was a woman under there and we were able to slide her out.”
Debris from the shed covered the sidewalk as emergency crews treated injured victims on the scene. Three people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A firefighter was also taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
At least one lane remained closed on 7th Avenue at West 40th Street Friday afternoon as authorities investigated and crews worked to clear the debris from the street.
The Department of Buildings issued a warning to property owners Friday to secure construction sites and buildings as high winds whipped through the area.
Department of Building inspectors were on scene investigating the accident. CBS 2 has learned the construction fence was not installed according to the approved plans, CBS 2’s Tamara Leitner reported.
A stop work order and citations were issued.
All of the victims were taken to Roosevelt Hospital, with non life-threatening injuries.
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