What to Know
- One worker died and another was seriously hurt in an elevator collapse at 20 Bruckner Boulevard, long known as the "History Channel Building" because of the huge sign atop it
- The building dates to the late 19th Century; it was once owned by Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, and more recently by Lewis Katz, who owned the Nets and Devils
- After sitting empty for years -- and after a change in billboard -- the former Ruppert Ice House has lately been undergoing renovations to become a functioning commercial space
One man died and another was hospitalized with serious injuries after an elevator collapsed at a well-known Bronx building on Wednesday, officials said.
The collapse happened just after 8:15 a.m. at 20 Bruckner Boulevard, long known as the "History Channel Building" because of the enormous sign for the cable channel that sat on the roof of the then-vacant structure. It is now home to an iHeartRadio sign that is visible on the FDR and Harlem River Drives.
Both victims were workers at the four-story site, where permit-issued elevator work was underway at the time of the collapse, fire officials said. The survivor was taken to Lincoln Hospital. His condition was not immediately known.
The elevator fell four floors. Fire crews were on the scene within minutes of getting the call, a department spokesman said.
After sitting empty for years -- and after a change in billboard -- the former Ruppert Ice House has lately been undergoing renovations to become a functioning commercial space instead.
The building dates to the late 19th Century. It was once owned by Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, and more recently by Lewis Katz, who owned the Nets and Devils.
NYC Department of Buildings elevator records show no violations since 2013. However, a worker was operating a scissor lift in Dec. 2018 when he was crushed. A year later, another worker doing demolition work died in a fall from the second floor in the building in late 2019.
The Department of Buildings says its investigation is ongoing.
"Every worker who leaves for the job site in the morning deserves to come home safely at night," the Department of Buildings said in a statement. "We are committed to finding out how this tragic incident occurred, and if we find that safety rules were ignored, we will hold those responsible to account. Along with our partners in law enforcement, investigators from our Construction Safety and Elevator Enforcement units will be conducting a thorough investigation of the events that led up to this incident."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor, said OSHA is aware of the incident and is responding.
According to the Department of Buildings, there are active construction permits for a major alteration and vertical enlargement of the existing building. The preliminary investigation determined that the two construction workers were using the elevator at the work site to transport construction debris between floors, when the elevator device fell to the bottom floor. However, since the fatal incident took place a full stop order was issued for the entire work site.
In a statement, GDI Construction said: “What happened this morning at 20 Bruckner was a terrible incident and everyone on site is completely devastated. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones of the individual who passed away and our thoughts are with the person who is in critical condition. We are working closely with the local authorities as we undergo a full investigation.”