A 43-year-old Irishman and Bronx resident was killed on Tuesday afternoon following an accident at a construction site in Brooklyn.
According to a complaint lodged with the NY Department of Buildings, Paul "Gooch" Kennedy was drilling piles at a site on 61 Bond St in Boerum Hill at approximately 1:20pm yesterday when a shackle from a crane overhead snapped. The piece of steel fell over 60ft before hitting Kennedy on the head. The Irishman was pronounced dead at the scene.
FDNY and NYPD immediately flocked to the site at the corner of Schermerhorn St., where a 13-storey hotel is being constructed on an open-air parking lot, but an NYPD spokesperson stated the man was discovered “unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to the body.” The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and an investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.
Kennedy’s wife, who resided with him in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, rushed to the scene of the accident Tuesday evening, according to NY Daily News.
“He didn’t have to die — I told him not to take this job,” she said sadly. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
She was accompanied by her mother, Kennedy’s mother-in-law, who described him as “a kind man, a really good guy.”
“The machinery malfunctioned,” a security guard working the site told the NY Post.
“I went to get some pizza and I came back and he was dead. It happened that fast. Something detached from the machine. It busted him in the head and he was dead.
“It’s sad, he came to work and now he’s gone.”
A spokesperson for the site’s general contractor Broadway Construction Group told the Brooklyn Eagle: "We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts are with the grieving family at this time. We are committed to the highest standards of safety and are fully cooperating with the investigation into how this happened."
The 18,000-square-foot site, located just beside a school, is currently being developed by GFI Hospitality and GFI Development Company with plans to open a “lifestyle hotel” by spring 2018. The crane in question was anchored below street level but stretched up over five stories high.
The Dept of Buildings ordered a complete stop-work order on the site, according to authorities. The site received just one safety violation from the department previously, when tripping and slipping hazards were found on the corner lot last May.
This is the 18th death related to construction to occur in New York in 2016.