The retaining wall toppled on 42nd Street between 4th and 5th avenues in Sunset Park on Monday afternoon during what should have been a routine construction job.
The Department of Buildings found that there were no permits issued for construction work.
NewsCopter 7 was overhead moments after the 9-foot retaining wall collapsed onto the two men.
Dozens of firefighters rushed to pull one worker to safety who was trapped under debris. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital.
A second worker was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It was pretty involved, our rescue units had some high lift Airbags and went into all of the tools from their rescue units to get these folks out," an FDNY official said.
A third worker who was working on site with the other two for the past few days had just left the job to get lunch.
His wife rushed to the scene to try to comfort him as after the emotional and tragic incident.
"Thank God he's OK, God saved me, God saved me," Tomal Shamsuddin said after the incident.
The FDNY chief said the men were working on one side of the wall for the past few days and asked permission from the homeowner to work on the other side before the wall collapsed.
The Department of Buildings' investigation is ongoing.
The 7 On Your Side Investigates team found records that show neighbors have been complaining about the retaining wall at the address since 2014. That is when a new one was constructed and it was bowing out into a neighbor's yard.
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