What to Know
- One person died and five others were hurt, two of them seriously, when a two-story building under construction partially collapsed Tuesday
- A call about the collapse on 208th Street in the Bronx's Norwood neighborhood came in shortly before noon
- Fire crews were never able to communicate with the victim killed, saying it appeared he had been crushed, according to a fire official
One person died and at least five people were hurt, two of them seriously, after a four-story building under construction partially collapsed in the Bronx Tuesday morning, authorities said.
A call about the collapse on 208th Street by Steuben Avenue in Norwood came in shortly before noon; it wasn't clear how many people were in the eight-unit building at the time. The man who died was identified as 47-year-old Segundo Huerta. He was trapped in the pile of steel and rubble when the building came crashing down.
People walking by the building called police after witness the third floor collapse, with some saying they heard shouting coming from inside the building before it came down.
Chopper 4 showed crews removing what appeared to be cinder blocks to get to the trapped individual. Firefighters were able to reach that person, and pull that person from the debris, but the individual could not be saved.
A fire official said it took crews about an hour to uncover the worker killed in the debris, and were never able to communicate with him, saying it appeared he had been crushed. The two workers with serious injuries are Segundo's relatives. They were taken to the hospital, while the other three suffered only minor injuries.
Buildings inspectors were at the scene to conduct an investigation, an agency spokesperson said. The DOB released a statement Monday evening, calling Huerta's death a "preventable tragedy" that they will continue to investigate "aggressively and bring all appropriate enforcement actions against those responsible."
Huerta is survived by his wife and his five children; the oldest one is 19 years old and his youngest are two 5-year-old twin boys. His wife said the Ecuadorian worker was a good man who worked hard to provide for his kids.
A DOB source told News 4 that the preliminary cause of the collapse may have been due to an overloading of concrete masonry blocks on the third floor, leading to the floor crashing into the second floor and trapping the worker who died.
Prior to the accident, no violations were recorded at the construction site, the source said. The Department of Buildings issued permits for the new building in May 2019.
The general contractor for the project is Pioneer General Construction. The company did not respond to a request for comment, other than that they are looking into the incident.