Updated 11/23, 9:44 p.m.
Two men were killed at a construction site in Briarwood on the afternoon of Nov. 22, according to the NYPD.
Police said the two workers, ages 43 and 47, were found unresponsive and unconscious at a construction site at 81-10 134th St. at 12:10 p.m.
According to AMNY, the 47-year-old worker was posting a beam when it fell from the crane and struck the crane’s cab as well as a 43-year-old flag person.
The men were identified as George Smith, 47, of Brooklyn and Alessandro Ramos, 43, of Jamaica, Queens.
Commissioner of the Department of Buildings (DOB) Rick Chandler said this was “a tragic accident.”
“We are at the beginning of a multi-agency investigation into the cause of this accident,” Chandler said. “Based upon an immediate assessment of the evidence, it is unlikely that wind played a role in the incident. At this time, it appears that there was likely a rigging failure that resulted in the beam coming loose and falling to the ground. However, we have not made any final determinations.”
According to DOB records, the building is a seven-story residential project owned by Briarwood MP, LLC. An employee at the crane operating company, Brooklyn-based Cranes Express, declined to comment.
The load that fell was approximately 6,500 pounds, according to the DOB.
The DOB issued a weather advisory encouraging property owners, contractors and crane operators to take “precautionary measures” due to high winds from Nov. 19 through Nov. 21. Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour were expected at that time.
According to the National Weather Service, the forecast in Briarwood on the day of the accident included sustained winds from 23 to 25 mph, with gusts of up to 36 mph. It is not clear if wind played a factor in the beam’s fall.
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) November 22, 2016