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Construction accident: Building collapse kills 1, injures another

In the aftermath of a massive building collapse in New York on a recent Friday morning, firefighters, EMT's and police put their lives on the line to save a worker's life. The lives of nineteen workers were brought into jeopardy in a construction accident when the eight-story building they were demolishing collapsed. Officials reported that the collapse happened in a V-shape and brought down the bottom five stories.

Sadly, one worker lost his life when a wooden plank struck him in the head, and he was found pinned against a dumpster. The collapse caused his 20-year-old colleague to fall into the basement from the first floor. Falling chunks of concrete and thousands of pounds of other building debris buried the man up to his waist.

Rescuers reported that they remained in contact with the buried victim throughout the rescue operation and even provided IV treatment while he was still trapped. He reportedly remained relatively lucid and surprisingly calm throughout the ordeal. After he had been extricated, he was rushed to a hospital where his condition was reported to be stable.

While the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York bemoaned the state of the construction industry, he also expressed concern over the tendency of contractors and developers to favor profits over workers' safety. The fact that any victim of a construction accident can pursue workers' compensation benefits should not appease negligent employers. The consequences of such catastrophic workplace accidents are typically more far-reaching than the financial implications of medical or end-of-life expenses and coverage of lost income that are covered by workers' compensation. Emotional and psychological damages may last a lifetime.

Source: New York Daily News, "Construction worker dead after eight-story Midtown building partially collapses, second worker was trapped and rescued", Greg B. Smih, Rich Schapiro, Larry McShane, Oct. 30, 2015

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