Construction Worker Hurt After Fall at CUNY Site in Harlem

By Nicole Bode on March 29, 2011 11:40am | Updated on March 29, 2011 4:00pm

By Carla Zanoni and Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN – A construction worker was rushed to the hospital with head trauma and a severe leg injury after he fell at the future site of CUNY's Advanced Science Research Center in Harlem, an FDNY spokesman said.

The 40-year-old man, who was not identified, fell at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at a construction site at 85 St. Nicholas Terrace near 135th Street, a part of City College of New York's south campus, according to officials from the city buildings department and fire department.

Fire officials said the man was taken to Bellevue hospital at 11:13 a.m. in serious condition, but officials on the scene said he was taken to St. Luke's Hospital. His right leg was severely injured, with some witnesses saying his right leg was partially amputated at the ankle, while others described it as a compound fracture.

The city's Department of Buildings said the individual fell 15 feet from the second to the first floor. He had been wearing a safety harness, but it was not attached to a lifeline, as is required, a DOB spokesman said. The site was issued a stop work order effective immediately, the agency said.

CUNY's Advanced Science Research Center at City College is the 200,000 square foot research complex currently being built by the university to attract and retain top scientists in fields from nanotechnology to neuroscience, according to the school's website.

A school official said the construction is being handled by Skanska USA Building Inc. A Skanska foreman on site confirmed that the man who fell was working for the company at the time.

"The safety of our employees – and anyone that visits our job sites – is always our highest priority," Michael Franco, project director at Skanska USA Building said in a statement. "Right now, our focus is on the injured worker and his family, but we will continue to work with officials to find out exactly what happened to avoid this type of accident in the future."

The school had its application approved last summer to do $42,000 worth of work on the first through fifth floors at the site, including installing a temporary standpipe, according to the DOB website.

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