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Worker Dead, Another Injured in Fall at 9th Ave. Construction Site

By  Carly Miller and Maya Rajamani | September 21, 2017 4:04pm | Updated on September 21, 2017 5:56pm

 One Manhattan West construction site where a worker fell to his death.
One Manhattan West construction site where a worker fell to his death.
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DNAinfo/Maya Rajamani

MIDTOWN — One worker was dead and another in serious but stable condition after falling from a bucket lift at a Ninth Avenue construction site Thursday afternoon — the second fatal fall at the site since June, according to officials.

The two 45-year-old construction workers fell from the third-floor of One Manhattan West at Ninth Avenue near West 33rd Street around 2 p.m., law enforcement and Department of Building officials said.

The first victim was declared dead at the scene, while the second was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, an FDNY spokesman said. The second victim was expected to survive, according to the NYPD.

Francisco Melendez, 20, and Christopher Gamboa, 19, were installing hardwood floors in the building across the street when they briefly saw the two men fall over the side of the lift banister.

“One of the men fell face forward, the other fell on his side,” said Gamboa.

“He was not moving — there was no sign of movement, nothing,” Melendez said. “He was just gone already. He was lying face first. It was bloody.” 

“It’s just tragic, you know?” Melendez said. “Guy’s trying to feed his family, you know? It got me a little scared of working.” 

The planned building, which is affiliated with the addresses 400 West 33rd St. and 401 Ninth Ave., is one of six being developed as part of Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West complex. 

"We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy and we are actively cooperating with all relevant agencies to investigate the matter. There are no further details at this time," said John Gallagher, a spokesman for the site's construction manager, Tishman Construction.

"The only comment we have is that we are cooperating with the authorities," Christine Abreu told Gothamist. Abreau is the director of risk management and compliance at EJ Electric, where both victims worked.

Brookfield Properties, which owns the Manhattan West site, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A security guard also declined to comment at the scene. 

In June, a worker fell 10 stories to his death at One Manhattan West, and at least two other worker injuries have been reported this year, according to DOB records. 

There are several active violations on the property, including failure to maintain safety measures, with at least $1,500 owed in penalties. 

The Department of Buildings was investigating the incident.

This was the second death reported at a construction site Thursday.

Earlier in the morning, a man fell 27 stories to his death at a luxury high-rise construction site near the South Street Seaport