Three construction workers were injured, two critically and one seriously after 1200 pounds of laminated beams fell on them at a construction site in Queens. The accident occurred wednesday afternoon at a site located on 28th Road near 31st Street in Astoria where workers were converting a 2 story building into a 3 story one. As they were working inside, the roof collapsed after a heavy load of construction material had been previously placed on it. Beams and bags of cement fell from the top floor to the basement. 3 workers were pinned under the debris. One of the workers, a 37 year old man was seriously injured but he was able to free himself before the firefighters arrived. Another 40 year old worker was rescued from the debris in critical condition. The third worker, a 28 year old man, was trapped under thousands pounds of construction material. Firefighters were able to administer medication through an IV to keep the young man stable while they were frenetically digging through the debris to try to free him. Firefighters had to use a hydraulic jack to be able to rescue him. After an hour of intense work, they finally were able to save him and to hoist him into the ambulance in critical condition. (see here a detailed description of the amazing job the FDNY did to save the workers)
Neighbors said the heavy construction material was previoulsy delivered onto the roof by a crane. The New York City Department of Buildings is now investigating the accident.
On New York construction sites, heavy equipment is supposed to be delivered at ground level. For any heavy equipment delivery at higher levels, contractors are supposed to obtain proper permission. It was not clear yesterday if a proper authorization was obtain for the Astoria construction site previous to the crane delivery.
Read more on the CBS website