Construction accident in midtown Manhattan injures 4, FDNY says

There was a railing collapse at Madison Avenue and East 43rd Street

The city Department of Buildings on Tuesday levied violations and a stop work order at a site where four construction workers were injured when a heavy chandelier fell on top of them.

The construction workers were doing demolition inside 331 Madison Ave. around 10 a.m. this morning, and were attempting to remove the chandelier from the ceiling at the entrance of the first floor.

A four-foot marble banister on the mezzanine floor the workers used for leverage as they tried securing the chandelier gave way, according to the Buildings Department.

The four workers fell about 15 feet, the FDNY said. Then the chandelier, which weighed up to several hundred pounds, fell on them.

All four workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment, the FDNY said.

The Buildings Department issued three violations for failure to safeguard the site, provide adequate fall protection and maintain adequate housekeeping.

The work being done in the SL Green-owned building is an interior demolition project as part of the real estate firm’s One Vanderbilt skyscraper development. Waldorf Demolition is the contractor, with Tishman Construction as the construction manager; a safety manager was present at the time, according to an SL Green Realty Corp. spokeswoman. Three workers are expected to leave the hospital Tuesday, while the fourth person is being held in stable condition, according to the developer.

“Safety is our top priority,” the spokeswoman said in a statement. “We are working with our contractors and the Department of Buildings to ensure that work can resume safely at 331 Madison.” 

Next door at Patrick Conway’s pub, bartender Brendan Kelly said the construction was normal in the building as crews do demolition work to prepare for the new tower.

“There’s just a few of us left here,” Kelly said of the businesses. “This whole block is coming down.”

Madison Avenue between East 42nd and 43rd streets was closed for about an hour, reopening at 11:30 a.m. Heavy traffic delays were reported earlier in the day.