A starkly worded tweet from the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) spelled out the fate of a construction worker buried under rubble last Wednesday: “The incident is transitioning from a rescue to a recovery.”
The tweet came after first responders dug for three hours in heavy rain through a mixture of mud and concrete for hours in an effort to find the worker, who disappeared when a retaining wall cracked and collapsed.
Crews didn’t recover the body of 47-year-old Luis Almonte until the following day. The immigrant from the Dominican Republic was one of six laborers working in a trench, digging with an excavator, when a slurry wall suddenly collapsed. The other workers were able to scramble to safety.
The site is owned by 348 37th St. LLC, and two contractors — Ground to Sky City Builders Corp. in Yonkers and WSC Group LLC in Brooklyn — are working on the property.
The city Department of Buildings is investigating.