The city buildings department is investigating after a delivery worker was killed Monday morning at an East Flatbush market when, according to sources, an illegal lift collapsed on him.
The lift, which sources said is illegal, is visible from the entrance of KP Farm Market on Nostrand Avenue.
Monday evening, it was boarded up with plywood after the fatal accident. It had been used by employees and delivery workers as a dumbwaiter to move produce to and from the market floor and basement.
"If it's illegal, then it shouldn't have been there," said a butcher next door who went by the name Garrett. "It's a tragedy that someone had to die in order for that to, you know, come to a head."
Sources said the delivery man was standing under the lift when it fell on him. Sources said a preliminary investigation indicates the rigged hoist relied on a chain to move up and down and lacked proper safeguards. KP Farm Market also does not have any elevator permits or applications on file with the buildings department, according to sources.
Customers said they have seen multiple lifts being used after the market expanded its new location last year.
"They have many lifts downstairs that move different stuff," customer Elroy Alexander said.
Alexander said he rushed to the market to check on one of his good friends who works at the store. He said he hopes the owner will follow regulations to ensure worker safety.
"These stores run 24 hours, 365 [days] a year, and these people that work there, they don't do enough for them. That's how I feel. I myself have been a union worker 20 years — 22 years in the union. I'm pro-safety," Alexander said.
As the investigation continues, KP Farm Market remained open Monday night.
It's unclear what types of penalties the owner may face.
The medical examiner will work on determining the official cause of death for the delivery worker.