UPDATE: Construction worker killed in Fort Greene roof collapse
The Department of Buildings is investigating the cause of a tragic roof collapse in Fort Greene that claimed the life of a construction worker Monday morning.
According to the FDNY, the accident happened at 227 Carlton Avenue around 9:13 a.m. at the site of the under-construction Carlton Mew Townhouses — a cluster of five four-story, two-family town houses.
After a delivery of heavy materials, including concrete blocks, the roof of the building collapsed, according to a spokesman for the Department of Buildings. Five workers were on the roof at the time. Two of them fell to the building’s basement when it collapsed.
A 67-year-old man was transported to Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD. Another construction worker was rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition, according to the DOB.
Dan Regis, 48, has been working at the site for about five months and was on the roof when it collapsed. The area he was standing on remained in tact, but he saw the accident unfold.
“I was at the back of the roof, I saw the whole thing,” Regis told Metro. “They were unloading cement blocks from a lift onto the roof. They were unloading the last of the bags when the roof caved in. I went down to dig them out… with my bare hands.”
“They couldn’t scream, they were so badly hurt,” he added.
Regis said one of his fellow workers he knew only as Winston was badly injured in the accident. He didn’t know whether Winston survived.
“Winston was in really bad shape, all the bricks and cement came down on him,” Regis said.
When asked what may have caused the accident, Regis replied, “Nobody can say anything, everyone is calling it an accident. In my experience, the roof was overloaded.”
The DOB has engineers investigating at the site to determine the cause of the collapse. A full stop work order has been issued to all five buildings at the site.
“They believe beams were not properly supported and once heavy materials were delivered, they gave way,” DOB spokesman Tony Sclafani told Metro. “They are investigating how those beams were constructed.”
The DOB did not have any open violations or complaints on file for the site. However, Fort Greene councilwoman Letitia James cited the tragedy in calling for stricter regulations of construction projects.
“This tragic incident raises serious concerns about the safety practices at this construction site, and whether there was proper oversight of this construction by both the Department of Buildings and the developer,” James said in a statement. “I believe this tragedy further underscores the need for greater safety precautions and worker safety training at major development sites throughout the City.”
Photos and contributed reporting by Miles Dixon.