A construction worker remodeling a Queens business was hospitalized last week after the front of the building collapsed on top of him. Just before noon on Monday, April 22nd, the first-floor façade of a three-story building located at 31-19 30th Ave. peeled away from the rest of the structure and fell to the street.
The injured worker was on a ladder at the time and, while most ladder accidents involve falls, this one was dramatically different. The entire façade of the building came loose. Falling bricks rained down from above and at least one struck the worker on the head as he fell to the ground. In addition, portions of the falling concrete façade hit and scraped the worker's face, leaving several bloody facial lacerations that witnesses reported as gruesome. The construction worker was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
Though his injuries didn't appear to be life-threatening at the time-he was bleeding and dazed but able to walk. According to official statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. While 75% of those injuries are classified as "mild," over 30% of all deaths are related to TBI. Head trauma is known to cause deadly "hidden" injuries.
Vardaris Tech Inc., a general contractor based in Long Island City, was in charge of the construction work at the jobsite and had been issued a permit by the Department of Buildings. The current first-floor space (owned by Fertitta Produce Inc.) was being renovated to make room for an ice cream parlor. The construction work exposed rusty beams inside the building which may have caused the façade collapse that hospitalized the unnamed construction worker.
This is the fourth building collapse in Queens in the past 30 days. One week prior to the 30th Avenue accident, a two-story vacant building collapsed narrowly missing bystanders and falling objects including bricks (weighing roughly 5 pounds each) crushed two parked cars. A week prior to that, the façade of a building collapsed on a pedestrian as he passed by. One week prior to that, the second-story facade of a newly constructed cinder block building collapsed seriously injuring two construction workers. The Department of Buildings issued stop work orders for all three jobsites and is currently investigating this latest construction accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of construction site accident, call the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn all your rights.