Worker Killed in Fall from Park Ave. Building, Sources Say

By Alan Neuhauser and Trevor Kapp  on May 24, 2012 11:53am  | Updated on May 25, 2012 3:04pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — A worker was killed after he fell three floors from a Park Avenue building Thursday morning, officials said.

The 55-year-old victim fell from a third-floor window at 840 Park Ave., near East 76th Street, just before 11:20 a.m., an FDNY spokesman said. He was believed to be in his 40s.

The man was taken to New York Hospital in serious condition, the FDNY spokesman said.

He died a short time later, a police source said.

An NYPD spokesman said Friday the man's identity has not been released pending family notification.

Witnesses described a graphic scene following the man's fall.

"It was like a gunshot or a heavy book slammed on the floor," said Americo Sarnu, 44, who works as a handyman at 65 E. 77th St. "I turned around and there was a guy bleeding on the ground. He was laying on his left side and bleeding from his head. Everyone was screaming, 'Oh my God,' and 'Call 911.' I thought he was dead."

Ann Marie Solon, who works in a doctor's office next door to the building, said she rushed outside to help. "He was just laying out here in the rain," she said. "We gave the workmen a tablecloth because it was raining, and they covered him."

The city's Department of Buildings said it is looking into the incident. Documents filed on the department's website show that it granted a permit in April for workers to renovate a duplex apartment in units 3A and 4A. The work included re-finishing windows, walls and ceilings, and upgrading the heating and plumbing.

The cost totaled more than $200,000.

A stop work order and violations were issued Connecticut-based Nordic Custom Builders Friday, according to the DOB web site, for "failing to install proper fall protection and failure to safeguard persons and property."

Nordic Custom Builders did not respond to calls seeking comment Friday.

One resident said she believed the man was part of a team renovating a duplex apartment on the building's third and fourth floors.

"The guy was painting the French windows on the front of the building," said a resident, who declined to give her name. "I saw police cars, reporters, sirens, everything. It was a mess."

The super for the co-op building declined to comment, directing questions to the NYPD.

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