Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 29, 2008 - An Accident

Today was not a good day at the work site -- even with the sunny weather and cool temperatures.

A man was seriously injured when a large metal storage box full of steel pipes fell over - while he was working on top of it. By chance I was standing across the corner and watched the accident as it happened.

Here's what I saw.

At about 1:15 in the afternoon, on Saturday March 29th, I stopped at the SW corner of 95th and Second Avenue to observe the work being performed across the street. The contractors had set-up a large rotary drilling machine at this location.

At this moment, the drilling machine was being used to pick up ("extract" might be a better word) long sections of steel pipe from a large metal storage box. (The storage box and the pipe are visible in the two images below - on the other side of the worker in the yellow vest.)

95th, SW corner - looking East
(This picture was taken at about 1:30 PM - about a minute before the accident.)

This is the same image - cropped so that the work area is easier to see.

For some reason the metal storage box, and the pipes inside it, became unstable and it tipped over and fell to the right -- while the worker was still on top of storage box.

Work at this location was immediately stopped and the machine was shut down. One man yelled "man down" to his co-workers south on the avenue and many men came running.

This picture was taken a few moments after the accident.
(Note: this image and the next one are in black & white only because I mistakenly reset the camera to B&W as I fumbled to take my camera out again.)

Many workers attended to the injured man while others were on their cell phones, calling for medical assistance I assume.

A few minutes later a New York Fire Department ambulance pulled up to the SW corner of 96th (a block away.) A worker then ran across the street to show the ambulance where the injured man was located.

An ambulance arrived and the medical personnel immediately attended to the injured man.

About 10 minutes later, he was placed in the ambulance and taken to the hospital. (I don't know the severity of the injuries, but I'm going to assume that they were serious based on the speed at which the ambulance workers and construction workers were moving.)

In this image, taken after the accident, workers are seen here inspecting and reviewing the accident site.

And here's a better shot that clearly shows the storage box and pipes on the ground.

At about 2.20 PM another machine (on the right) was brought in to lift the storage box full of pipes off the ground.

94th, SE corner - looking north

A note:
Some might wonder why I don't have more images of the accident and the injured man. There are two reasons for this. One, I was really quite shocked when I saw the accident take place right before my eyes. At that moment I was thinking more about the condition of the injured worker than I was about taking pictures. And the second reason is that I decided, out of respect for the injured man, I wouldn't take any pictures of him.

Update - March 31, 2008
The artist Dominick Santise, who has masterfully captured some of the construction activity with his drawings, happened upon another accident near the work site in late February.

You can view his drawings, and read an account of the accident that he observed, on his blog "Life on Second" which is reachable on this link:

Update - April 10, 2008
Here's a close-up picture, taken this evening, of an identical pipe storage box -- exactly like the one that tipped over during the accident. I don't think that this is the same pipe storage box, since once source has told me that the storage box that was in the accident was moved off-site after the accident.

On the Monday after the accident I observed workers welding this pipe storage box onto a large steel plates. (The steel plates makes the storage box more stable -- i.e. reducing the chance that it will accidental tip over again.)

between 93rd & 94th - east side of the avenue

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