NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One worker was killed and another was seriously injured after a partial wall collapse Monday morning.
It happened around 10 a.m. at a construction site at a landmarked building at 60 Norfolk Street, near Broome Street on the Lower East Side.
The workers were trapped beneath the rubble after the collapse. One of the workers was unconscious.
“They were probably up around six or seven feet. It was high enough,” another worker told CBSN New York’s Charlie Cooper. “I wouldn’t want to stand on a window while knocking down a wall. No.”
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“Our units operated to extricate those two victims and they were subsequently transported to local hospitals,” said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Ajello.
Firefighters pulled the workers from the rubble and rushed one to Bellevue Hospital with a leg injury. The unconscious worker was taken to New York Presbyterian Downtown, where he was pronounced dead.
The injured worker remains in serious but stable condition. The other, 52-year-old Stanislaw Supinski, died. He is an immigrant from Poland who now lives in Queens with his girlfriend who was too distraught to speak.
“They were probably up 6, 7-feet, it was high enough,” said construction worker Tommy Daddio.
Daddio watched the men work on the wall moments before it crumbled and says he was worried about their positioning.
“I wouldn’t want to stand on a window sill knocking down a wall,” he said.
The building was a synagogue before it was damaged in a fire two years ago. It was being transformed into a mixed-use building in a development project mean to preserve its history. Other than this tragedy, there have been no violations at this construction site.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred today during stabilization work necessary to preserve part of the historic remains of the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue,” Gotham Organization said in a statement. “Our prayers go out to the families affected by this terrible tragedy.”
“DOB experts in structural engineering and emergency response are on scene conducting an aggressive investigation of this tragedy. Every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night. We will provide updates as our investigation progresses,” the Department of Buildings said in a statement.
Roads around Norfolk street are still blocked off as responders ustabilize the building to avoid any other accidents.