One dead, one hurt in scaffold collapse

FDNY says wind probable cause
January 30, 2008 3:08:13 PM PST
One construction worker was killed and a second injured when scaffolding collapsed at a controversial construction site in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn Wednesday morning. Authorities say the scaffolding fell outside 525 Clinton Avenue just before 10:30 a.m.

One of the workers may have fallen the entire length of the building, officials said. He was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital Center.

Another worker fell three floors and had less serious injuries.

High winds are believed to have caused the scaffold blow off the roof.

The Building Department was sending inspectors to the scene.

The 12-story building is expected to house 30 condos atop a community facility, most likely medical offices.

The building, designed by Stephanie Goto, was expected to be finished sometime this year.

Residents have commented on the Internet that the building was quickly constructed.

The buildings department issued the following press release:

Earlier today, Buildings inspectors and engineers responded to emergency calls about a pipe scaffold collapse at 525 Clinton Avenue in Brooklyn.

Upon inspection, Buildings engineers and inspectors determined a three-frame pipe scaffold installed on the roof of the new building under construction had collapsed. Sections of the pipe scaffold collapsed onto the 2nd floor and 12th floor setbacks of the new building under construction.

Preliminary reports indicate three workers on the pipe scaffold were performing stucco work on the exterior of the rooftop bulkhead at the time of the incident. The workers were employed by a sub-contractor, Bell Tower Enterprises, retained by the general contractor overseeing construction of the new building, Clinton Court Development LLC.

Buildings forensic engineers are investigating to determine the cause of the collapse. While preliminary reports indicate high winds may have contributed to the collapse, Buildings forensic engineers are looking into whether the scaffolding was secured to the roof and the rooftop bulkhead.

At this address there is a new 13-story residential building under construction. Permits were issued for foundation work in December 2005 and for construction of the new building in April 2006. The building is currently built to its permitted height of 13 stories.

On Background:

When the National Weather Service forecasts inclement weather conditions, such as high winds in excess of 30 mph, the Buildings Department proactively alerts building owners and contractors of the inclement weather and advises them to secure their buildings and construction sites appropriately. This morning, the Buildings Department alerted building owners and contractors that the National Weather Service was forecasting high winds up to 30 mph and wind gusts up to 50 mph for the day. Please see the attached notification that was sent out.

Buildings records show six ECB violations have been issued to Clinton Court Development, LLC. since 2006 for the following conditions:

  • Failure to provide toe boards throughout the elevator shafts from Floors 1 through 13
  • Failure to provide guard rails on the front terrace on Floor 3 and on stairs from Floors 1 thorough 9
  • Failure to provide horizontal safety netting during construction
  • Failure to provide handrails on the stairwell from Basement to Floor 9
  • Failure to maintain access to a Siamese connection
  • Failure to provide a construction fence and maintain a standpipe system
  • All six ECB violations were issued on November 3, 2006.