BRONX, N.Y. — Construction workers in the Bronx are in shock and in disbelief, saddened by the loss of one of their own.
One of their co-workers died Wednesday morning when an elevator at a construction site on Bruckner Boulevard crashed to the bottom floor of the building.
Two men were inside the elevator when it fell. One of them, a supervisor died. The other was taken to Lincoln Hospital with critical injuries.
The Department of Buildings said the workers were using the elevator to transport construction debris between floors when it crashed.
Reverend Oswald Denis from nearby Rehoboth Church tried to console the mostly immigrant workers with prayers and a promise to be here for them.
“The city is upon their shoulders. We need them more than ever and we love them,” said Reverend Denis.
The building is a four-story building that’s being renovated into a charter school. The FDNY said the construction company GDI Construction did have a permit for elevator work at the site, but it’s unclear if the elevator was being worked on at the time of the accident.
According to the city’s Department of Buildings, in December 2019, another worker died at the site.
The city has cited GDI several times in the past for safety violations.
Last year, the governor signed legislation that requires anyone who repairs and inspects elevators to be licensed by the state. But at least one union told NY1 its enforcement has been postponed because of the pandemic.
“How long are we going to wait?” asked Brian Houser from International Elevator Constructor Local No. 1. “And every day that it’s been delayed we’re putting workers at risk. Regardless of affiliation, no worker should be put at risk.”
GDI Construction would not comment beyond sending its condolences to the workers and their families and saying the company is cooperating with the investigation. The Department of Buildings has issued a stop work order at the site as it investigates.