One of the workers rescued from the building collapse in Brighton Beach later died of cardiac arrest at Coney Island Hospital. The unidentified worker was one of five who was pulled out of the rubble after the five story condo collapsed during construction just before 2:30 p.m. Witnesses tell the Times the collapse was accompanied by a "thundering metal shriek that could be heard for blocks," and a concrete worker who was outside the building tells the Wall Street Journal he saw "one of the construction workers trying to run and the whole thing…started coming down like thunder. I saw slabs just come buckling down and then the screaming and the yelling."
Robert LiMandri, commissioner of the Buildings Department, tells the Times that workers "were pouring concrete in the wrong sequence, and we believe that that is a major contributor to this collapse today." Construction guidelines call for pouring concrete from the bottom floors and working upward, but LiMandri says a preliminary investigation suggests they were starting from the top floors and working down.
As we reported yesterday, a complaint was registered with the Department of Buildings on November 5th, claiming "illegal construction" at this address. LiMandri says the complaint had to do with after-hours work and that the department did not immediately follow up on the complaint. But he insists the collapse and the after-hours work were not connected.
“It was such a very, very bad noise,” 91-year-old neighbor Margaret Arcarola tells the Daily News."I didn’t know which door to run out. I thought it was falling on my house." An FDNY spokesman says three of the workers were taken to Lutheran hospital in serious condition, and a fifth refused medical attention at the scene. One of the workers reportedly screamed, "Thank God! Thank God! I’m alive!” after firefighters pried him loose.