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City Suspends Contractor in Astoria Building Collapse That Trapped Workers

 A construction worker is carried out on a stretcher after being trapped under thousands of pounds of debris for nearly two hours on Tuesday, fire officials said.
A construction worker is carried out on a stretcher after being trapped under thousands of pounds of debris for nearly two hours on Tuesday, fire officials said.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ASTORIA — The city has suspended the contractor and superintendent in charge of a work site where a construction collapse last week trapped and seriously injured three workers, officials announced Wednesday.

Ideal Builders and Construction and its superintendent Fazal Hassan were suspended following the June 20 incident at 31-25 28th Road, where the Department of Buildings accused the company of "cutting corners" while building a third-story addition on an existing home.

Officials say Hassan allowed crews to "improperly" load cinder blocks and other heavy equipment onto the newly built third floor, which wasn't stable enough to support the weight.

The floor collapsed, sending the materials crashing through the building's second and first floors, trapping and critically injuring three construction workers, including one man who was pinned under the debris for nearly two hours.

Officials say Hassan — the construction superintendent at the site, as well as at 10 other projects in the city — should have first had an engineer assess the third floor to make sure it was structurally sound.

The DOB is in the process of shutting down work at more than 60 construction sites that Hassan is associated with, according to a spokesman.

While this was the first injury reported at one of Hassan's sites, he and Ideal Builders and Construction have racked up 14 public-safety-related violations over the last two years, officials said.

"Mr. Hassan and his firm neglected their duties on this and other construction sites and showed disregard for the lives of workers and the public," DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler said in a statement.

"Bad actors in the construction industry need to get the message: the City will not tolerate those who endanger people’s lives."

Calls to Ideal Builders and Construction went unanswered Wednesday, and the company's phone number did not have a voicemail activated.

The length of his suspension will be determined by a hearing with the city's Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), the spokesman said.

► RELATED: 3 Workers Injured After Construction Material Crashes Through Astoria Home
► RELATED: City Halts Work on Construction Site Where 3 Workers Were Injured