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Workers injured by falling bricks at LICH — victims taken to LICH

Brooklyn Paper
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Cinderblocks fell from the former Long Island College Hospital complex and hit two workers on Wednesday, seriously injuring one of them.

The blocks fell on the two victims at the old infirmary on Hicks Street at Atlantic Avenue just before 1 pm, according to a Fire Department spokesman and a New York University Langone Medical Center spokeswoman.

New York University Langone and developer Fortis Property Group are preparing to demolish the property to make way for a new medical center.

Emergency responders took both victims to the old Long Island College emergency room a block away at Amity and Hicks streets — which Langone itself is now running — where one was in a serious but not life-threatening condition and the other was sporting just minor injuries, the Fire Department rep said.

A site supervisor who refused to give his name claimed the accident happened inside the building and not out on the street, and that both workers are now fine and will return to work next week.

City inspectors have found several safety infractions at the property since December last year — including electrical work without a permit, uncovered holes, and absent safety managers — and have slapped various subcontractors there with at least $8,000 in fines, according to city records.

In August, workers accidentally set fire to the landmarked Polhemus building — another part of the Long Island College Hospital complex, which Fortis is turning into condominiums — when they were trying to remove rooftop a water tank with a blowtorch, according to a Brooklyn Eagle report at the time.

A Fortis spokeswoman would not comment on what happened on Wednesday other than to say the developer is monitoring the injured workers’ health and that safety is its “top priority.”

A man who picked up the phone at the site’s demolition contractor GMR Services said he “don’t know nothing” before hanging up.

The site’s safety supervisor, Ramona Diaz from contractor the Safety Group, did not immediately return requests for comment.

— with Lauren Gill

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at rbrown@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8309. Follow her at twitter.com/rbbrown.
Updated 3:31 pm, October 6, 2016
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