One construction worker is dead after a wall collapsed in Sunset Park on Monday afternoon.
A nearly 10-foot-high brick retaining wall came tumbling down in the backyard of a home near 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue at around 1 pm on Dec. 28, trapping two private construction workers beneath it, according to authorities on the scene.
One of the victims was pronounced dead on site while the other was taken to NYU Langone-Brooklyn, according to FDNY. At a press conference following the collapse, EMS Chief Stephen Russo said the second victim was in “serious but critical” condition.
A third construction worker told members of the press he had taken a lunch break shortly before the collapse, sparing his life.
Fire and police officials were still on premises as of 3:30 pm, with K9 units assisting in rescue and recovery. Area Councilman Carlos Menchaca tweeted just before 2:30 pm that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had also been notified of the incident.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” said Russo, who added that the Department of Buildings vacated the rear yards of 454 42nd St. and 453 43rd St. and said responding units “worked well together” to remove the debris and pull the two workers from the rubble.
Although a security perimeter has been established, authorities are encouraging people to avoid the area as the investigation continues. As of almost 4 p.m., 42nd Street Third to Fifth Avenue remained closed to vehicular traffic.
FDNY Chief James Boylan said the structure came down at a 90 degree angle on top of the workers.
Additional reporting by Lloyd Mitchell
This is a developing story, check back for updates. This story first appeared on our sister publication brooklynpaper.com.