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Worker Seriously Hurt by Steel Beam That Fell From Gowanus Expy., FDNY Says

By  Ben Fractenberg and Aidan Gardiner | October 23, 2017 2:59pm 

 A worker was injured after a steel beam fell from the Gowanus Expressway near 61st Street and struck a lift he was in, Oct. 23, 2017.
A worker was injured after a steel beam fell from the Gowanus Expressway near 61st Street and struck a lift he was in, Oct. 23, 2017.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

SUNSET PARK — A construction worker was seriously hurt when a steel beam fell from a Gowanus Expressway overpass and struck a cherry picker he was in Monday morning, according to officials and witnesses.

The man, whose name and age weren't immediately released, was in the lift near an onramp for the expressway at Third Avenue and 61st Street about 10:20 a.m. when the beam fell and sent him tumbling onto the road, FDNY officials and witnesses said.

He was treated at Lutheran Hospital and listed in stable condition, an FDNY spokesman added.

Max Gonzalez, a tax preparer was working across the street, he said he heard a “bang” and saw the lift tipping back.

“The crane rocked back with the guy holding onto it [in the lift]. The crane rocked forward and the guy fell out,” said Gonzalez, 28.

“I was shocked for 10 seconds. Then I called the ambulance. All the guys rushed to him. He was moving a little bit,” the witness added.

Another worker said the man appeared to be conscious and was holding his head after the fall and screaming in pain.

Ron Mirra, 52, said they have been working beneath the overpass for at least several weeks and that he has been concerned about the state of the expressway.

“It was bound to happen,” said Mirra, who also works construction, pointing to rusted beams on the expressway.

Gowanus ExpresswayRust was evident where a beam fell from the Gowanus Expressway Monday. (DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg)

“I feel bad for that guy. He don’t deserve a 4,000-pound piece of steel hitting him.”

Several construction workers had “El Sol Contracting” emblazoned on the back of their vests.

A worker who answered the phone at contracting company's Maspeth office said they had not yet gotten an update on the worker’s condition, adding that several managers had gone out to check on him and the site.  

Both the state and city Department of Transportation did not return immediate requests for information on which agency would investigate the cause of the injury.