Brighton Beach Building Collapse Injures 4, Kills 1

A Brighton Beach <"">building collapse has injured four people, and killed one person, according to media reports. The collapse took place yesterday afternoon, after fresh concrete was poured improperly on the third floor, before having been poured on the second floor.

New York City’s buildings commissioner promised swift action against those responsible for the tragedy, said The Wall Street Journal, which noted that one injured worker remains in critical condition. “We were able to determine that they were placing the concrete in the wrong sequence, and we believe that that is a major contributor to this collapse,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri, reported the Journal. “What we believe happened today was that they started from the top and worked their way down,” Commissioner LiMandri added.

Robert Approbato (53), employed at Stillwell Ready Mix, confirmed that the workers completed the third floor prior to his pumping concrete from his mixing truck up to the second floor of the 2929 Brighton 5th Street building, explained the Journal. According to Approbato, the workers were nearly completed laying the second floor when “the building just gave way…. “It just came right down,” he said, reported the Journal. “It didn’t give a warning. It just buckled,” said Approbato.

Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Marrone said, “It’s still under investigation, but it looks like the weight of the concrete caused the third floor to collapse into the second floor,” The New York Times reported.

According to Approbato, he saw “one of the construction workers trying to run and the whole thing … started coming down like thunder. I saw slabs just come buckling down and then the screaming and the yelling,” wrote the Journal. The collapse occurred just before 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

New York City Fire Captain William Gallagher said he, with four firefighters from Ladder 169, arrived first at the scene, just moments after the collapse, when they discovered the floors of the five-story building had collapsed in “V-shape,” said the Journal, which said that, ultimately, dozens of firefighters arrived at the scene. “Some of the workers came out screaming that their co-workers were trapped,” Gallagher said.

Five workers were rescued from the collapsed buiding. Three were in stable condition at Lutheran Medical Center, Deputy Chief Michael Marrone of the Fire Department told The New York Times. Another, who had been working outside the building, declined treatment.A fifth injured worker later died. None of the workers have been identified.

LiMandri, said his department will be investigating the contractor, the superintendent of construction, and the engineer, noting that the probe will look at the wreckage “piece by piece” to conduct what he described to be a “forensic engineering analysis,” said the Journal. The site is being secured this morning, said LiMandri.

Although building officials allege there were no open complaints reported at the building site, said the Journal, there are eight open building permits on the site, said the New York Times and, this weekend, a complaint was received at the Buildings Department that work was illegally being conducted after-hours.

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