Update…NYC crane collapse leaves many in shock A 38-year-old man was killed this morning when a construction crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan while it was being lowered and secured due to the heavy wind and snow. Wichs had exited his car and was standing alongside it when the crane fell onto the street, crushing him. He is fondly remembered by his family and friends as a tireless worker, dedicated and determined to succeed. The NYC crane collapsed into a row of parked cars when it toppled over onto Worth Street near Church Street at about 8:30 a.m. this morning amid a fierce winter storm. The lone fatality of the crane collapse, identified by police just hours after the accident, was David Wichs, a resident of the Upper West Side on West 81st Street. Some of the first responders to the scene, police officers from the Seargeant’s Benevolent Association office across the street, found Wichs, crushed under the crane, beside his car. Wichs was born in Prague and immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager, eventually graduating with a degree in mathematics from Harvard University. After obtaining his degree, he worked in finance and, at the time of his death, worked at a trading firm, Tower Research Capital. Lisa Guttman, Wich’s sister-in-law, told The Associated Press her brother-in-law David Wichs was “the most brilliant person ever.” His neighbors expressed similar sentiments. “He was an angel, an absolute angel,” said a man leaving Wich’s 81st St. apartment.” “He was a wonderful, wonderful person. He was the best, the absolute best, and that’s what makes this tragedy that much greater,” said a man who identified himself to The Associated Press as the family’s rabbi. In a statement to the press, Mayor de Blasio said construction work was stopped on the building Thursday after operators decided to lower and secure the crane as a precaution against expected heavy winds. “No work was done this morning because the crew made the decision to bring the crane down to the secure position,” de Blasio said. He further added that the horrible crane accident could have been even more tragic. “Just before the accident happened, the crew was making sure people weren’t in the way,” he said. Crane accidents in New York result in over twenty percent of all fatalities in construction accidents. As is made clear by the tragic accident this morning, construction workers are not the only individuals that can be injured in crane accidents. Bystanders and pedestrians are also at serious risk. While technology for the cranes has improved, resulting in massive cranes with far greater capabilities, strict standards for crane operations are still required. If you’ve lost someone or been injured yourself as a result of a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Injuries and emotional trauma from construction accidents can last a lifetime. Call the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff today at (212) 962-1020 to speak to a qualified construction crane accident attorney about your case. Our firm will guide you through your rights as the victim of a construction accident and the actions you can take to seek justice. Don’t delay in seeking the help you need.
Four injured construction workers were sent to Bellevue hospital on Tuesday after a partial collapse in NYC’s Midtown. The collapse occurred as a result of demolition work that is being done near the Grand Central terminal to make way for a new 65-story tower, which will be called One Vanderbilt. The proposed building would span the block intersection of Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues (by East 42nd and East 43rd streets). The demolition workers inside 331 Madison Avenue were dismantling a large chandelier from the ceiling, using a 4-foot marble banister as support. The banister gave way, sending the workers into a free fall with the debris from the marble banister and the chandelier crashing down along with them. The owner of the building said that the workers and the chandelier fell about 15 feet.
It is unclear if the chandelier landed on any of the workers. FDNY Battalion Chief Tom Maera says that the demolition debris had been cleared from the injured construction workers before they arrived.
The partial collapse occurred around 10am on Tuesday, April 7. At the time of the incident, a bartender in the nearby pub heard the commotion and followed the rush to the scene of the accident. He described to the Wall Street Journal that the four injured construction workers were “lying there. [There were] just four guys, lying in the lobby with EMS workers standing around them. They were trying to get them on stretchers. They were moving, so that was good.”
An anonymous fellow laborer said one of the victims were “bleeding from the mouth.”
The realty company, SL Green Realty, says there was a licensed safety manager at the building at the time of the partial collapse.
While the FDNY says the building was structurally sound, a full stop work order was issued by the Department of Buildings following the collapse. Three OSHA violations were issued after the incident, including one for failing to provide adequate fall safety measures to protect workers.
These are not the first OSHA violations given to the construction companies involved in this project. Both have failed to provide adequate protection for their workers specifically in regards to fall safety in the past.
Tishman Construction has been cited for fall safety protocol breaches in 2012, and paid a $7,000 fine. Similarly, Waldorf Demolition was cited in 2010 and paid $5,000. These OSHA violations are considered serious, as falls make up a large percentage of construction accidents.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff and their construction accident attorneys has represented the victims of hazardous construction sites for decades. Many laborers who fall victim to OSHA violations, unsafe conditions, and the everyday hazards of working in construction are unaware of their rights and are never compensated for serious injuries that may result as part of the job.
If you were hurt at a construction site, either while working as a laborer or as a pedestrian, call our offices at (212) 962-1020 for a free consultation about your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to.
Construction accidents happen every day. Anyone working in these hazardous fields can be severely injured. It is essential that you know how to protect your legal rights if you are involved in such an accident. This is a guide that explains those rights to you.