The architect who was in the construction site trailer crushed by 14,000 pounds of steel that fell 25 stories from a crane may never walk again. Doctors believe Robert Woo was likely paralyzed; his mother said, "He might not walk again...I've been telling him he's lucky to be alive." It is amazing Woo is alive - seeing photographs of the site, it's incredible he survived - but given the amount of construction and development ongoing in the city, we're alarmed as well.
Woo was working at the under-construction Goldman Sachs headquarters near Ground Zero when a crane's load slipped - the nylon sling "failed" - and fell. His wife Lisa told the Daily News that he didn't remember his office being crushed, but only that "One moment I was working, the next they were taking me out of the rubble." The Woos had relocated from Toronto to Manhattan while he worked was working on the Goldman Sachs project; he had also "fell in love" with New York while working on the World Financial Center's rebuilding after September 11.
The Woos have two sons, 2-year-old Tristan and 6-month-old Adrien. Lisa Woo said, "Rob was looking forward to taking Tristan on the back of his bike. He kept putting it off for months. Now he feels guilty about it."
Tishman Construction Corp. spokesman Richard Kielar defended the company's safety record, saying that Tishman's record was "excellent by industry standards" and noted that the incident was possibly a "material failure that...could not have been foreseen." The Department of Buildings issued four violations to Tishman, which corrected them and can re-start construction work, but a partial stop work order for crane operations remains.
In October, a crane dropped a dumpster at least 35 stories at the Bank of America tower in Midtown. And in September of last year, a crane dropped materials from the 15th floor of a building near Union Square.