The scene at 656 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn was one of utter chaos as emergency personnel frantically worked to rescue three construction workers who were injured when a cinder block wall collapsed on top of them. The youngest of the three workers, Fernando Venegas, tragically died as a result of the injuries he sustained on September 3, 2015. The other two were being treated in local hospitals.
The construction workers were in the process of performing excavation work in preparation for replacing a one-story structure with a five-story residential building. According to Rick Chandler, Department of Buildings Commissioner “the earth was removed from beneath that one-story masonry wall. . . That’s a recipe for a wall to collapse, and unfortunately that’s the tragedy that happened.” Chandler went on to say that in spite of the owner’s securing permits for the work it appears they took more of a risk than they should have doing this excavation.” FDNY Chief John Rozas said “three adjoining buildings were in jeopardy of collapse.”
A prior stop work order at the site had been rescinded when this accident occurred. Matt Olie a witness who was working nearby remarked that he heard a noise before the wall came crashing down. He came over for a closer look to see what happened and try to make sure it doesn’t happen to his workers.