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Man dies after falling down midtown elevator shaft at hotel construction site

A man died Tuesday after falling down an elevator shaft from the 24th floor of a midtown construction site, authorities said.

The man, who was not immediately identified, fell just before 12:40 p.m., an FDNY spokesman said. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center in critical condition, but pronounced dead there about 45 minutes later, police said.

Two workers were operating the lift to install elevator door frames when the car stalled about five feet above the 24th floor landing, a Department of Buildings spokesman said. One worker was able to jump down to the 24th floor landing but when the second worker tried, he fell backward in the shaft before falling to the pit level.

A full stop work order and a Class 1 aggravated ECB violation for failure to safeguard were issued on Tuesday.

The site, on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 46th Street, is the planned home of the RIU Hotel — Times Square, a New York addition to the international hotel line.

Several construction workers gathered near the building Tuesday afternoon, many learning of the accident when they came back from work. The building’s elevator had not been installed yet and the shaft was an empty hole, several workers said.

The site had several complaints registered with the Buildings Department in 2013 and 2014, including one from December in which the safety manager reported an elevator rail fell on a worker’s foot.

The construction of the 29-to-31 story building is currently overseen by The Rinaldi Group, according to the developer’s website.

A spokesman from The Rinaldi Group  said in an email they are cooperating with authorities, and their prayers are with the family.


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