As hardhats disassembled scaffolding on an Eighth Avenue high-rise on Thursday, a construction worker fell eight stories when a plank collapsed beneath him. Workers had just finished façade repairs on the 20-story building at the corner of 38th Street when a section of scaffolding collapsed on the 16th floor at around 2:15 pm, according to the Daily News. Jose Paulino, 29, plummeted all the way to the eighth floor, bumping off of metal support beams on the way down, which slowed his fall.

He landed on another section of scaffolding on his chest and broke four ribs and injured his neck, shoulder and leg. He was conscious and had feeling in his limbs when medics arrived and rushed him to St. Vincent's Medical Center, where he is in stable condition. "I took a step, and I was falling, falling, falling ... It felt like it was happening to somebody else," Paulino told the paper. "First I tried to hold on to something, to grab on to something ... But I just kept falling and falling, and I thought I might die ... I was hurting and in pain, but I knew I was still alive, and right then I knew I would see my wife and kids again."

There's a stop work order at the site, where there are dozens of open violations.