Wall collapse traps worker in Brooklyn trench and injures two others

Firefighters inspect damage after foundation cinderblock wall collapse in Sheepshead Bay. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Three workers were injured, one seriously, when a wall collapsed during construction of an apparent foundation of a Brooklyn home this afternoon, fire officials said.

One of the injured, a man in his 40’s, was apparently trapped in the trench, buried up to his chest in dirt and 100’s of pounds of cinder blocks. He was taken to Community Hospital on Kings Highway, but his injuries were not life-threatening, fire officials said.

Two other men who were with him in the trench were not trapped and were taken to Maimonides Medical Center with minor injuries, officials said.

The collapse occurred at 12:09 p.m. in the rear of 1925 East 14th Street, a one-family two-story home in Sheepshead Bay. Firefighters and emergency service police arrived on the scene to find two of the men already out of the trench, suffering injuries and one worker still trapped up to his chest in dirt and a cinder block wall that had collapsed on the side of the house.

Crews were able to remove the debris from the man and transfer him to emergency medical technicians for treatment.

Fire officials say the wall seemed to be part of the home and it was unclear what exactly the work crews were doing when the collapse occurred. Officials surmise that the construction crew was building an extension to the home and creating a foundation. It was unclear whether there were proper permits issued for the construction and Department of Buildings inspectors were called to the scene.

A stop-work order was slapped on the construction company, whose name was not immediately known because there were no permits visible on the site. 

The Buildings Department issued a report at about 4:30 p.m. that said:

DOB inspectors were called to the scene at 1921 and 1925 East 14th Street, Brooklyn, to investigate reports of a trench collapse at the location. Our preliminary investigation has determined that contractors were removing tree stumps and roots in the back yard of 1925 East 14th Street, and had dug a trench approximately 4-5 feet deep, when the wall of an adjacent detached garage at 1921 East 14th Street collapsed into the trench. Three workers, who were in the trench at the time of the collapse, were injured. None of the injuries are life threatening.  DOB’s investigation at the scene is ongoing, enforcement actions are pending this investigation. 

Fire chiefs inspect the damage after rescuing a worker from the trench. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
EMS crews leave the scene of collapse in Sheepshead Bay. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)