Construction Worker Killed in Gerritsen Beach Building Collapse

By DNAinfo Staff on April 3, 2012 11:48am  | Updated on April 3, 2012 5:03pm

A house under construction at 40 Frank Court collapsed onto two workers on April 3, 2012.
A house under construction at 40 Frank Court collapsed onto two workers on April 3, 2012.
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DNA/Theodore Parisienne

By Nicholas Rizzi and Wil Cruz

DNAinfo Staff

BROOKLYN — A young construction worker was killed Tuesday when a house that was being built in Gerritsen Beach collapsed on him, officials said.

Santos Garcia, 25, became trapped when the house at 40 Frank Ct. toppled onto the adjacent house about 11 a.m., police and fire officials said.

Firefighters desperately tried to pull the worker to safety. After they got Garcia out, he was rushed to Lutheran Hospital, where he later died, fire officials said.

FDNY Deputy Chief Stephen Moro said the department was investigating whether he was on a ladder on the roof at the time of the collapse.

"We don't know if he was actually trapped or if he succumbed to his injuries from a fall," he said.

Five workers were at the site when the house came down, Moro said. Three suffered minor injuries, but refused medical attention.

Neighbors in the house next door were evacuated after the collapse, but they were not injured and the house did not sustain any damage, Moro added.

Robert LiMandri, the Department of Buildings commissioner, said investigators were looking at faulty design.

"We believe there may be some design flaws," he said. "This was an old building that was under renovation."

"The existing structure could not support the second structure," he added.

The architect of the structure, Valentino Pompeo, was under investigation, DOB officials said. He could not be reached for comment.

A permit was issued to JD Construction, the contractor, in January and renewed in March. A department spokeswoman added that there had been no complaints or violations since the permit was issued.

LiMandri said the building was unstable and workers plan to demolish it by the end of the night.

A person who answered the phone at JD Construction declined to give his name.

"We were just cleaning and the house collapsed," the man said.

Melissa Impellizeri, 56, who said she has lived in the neighborhood her whole life, said the house has been plagued with problems, including being vacant for eight years and an unfinished roof.

"I was happy to see they were finally fixing it up," she said. "I figured it would look nice.

"It's a shame," she added. "I'm surprised that it collapsed."

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