Scaffolding Collapse Injures 17 New Yorkers

A building scaffold recently collapsed on top of a city bus that was travelling along West 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. According to reports, 17 people were injured — none of the injuries were life threatening — and treated at St. Luke's Hospital.

In an interview with The New York Times, Sasha Chavkin, who was on the bus during the accident, described the incident.

"We pulled into the stop and I heard a falling sound of something collapsing toward the back, and the back of the bus filled up with smoke," he said. "People were running from the back and screaming. After about a minute, the bus driver let everyone off the bus. I talked to a kid in the back who said he thought he was going to die. He said rubble had fallen through the windows of the bus."

An investigation showed that the accident was caused after bricks from an elevator shaft fell onto the scaffold and caused it to collapse. Witnesses say that this was not the first time that bricks were seen falling from the five-story building where the construction was taking place.

The Risks Of Scaffolding Accidents

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 88 people were killed in 2007 because of scaffolding accidents on construction sites. OSHA reports that some of the main causes for these accidents include:

  • Supervision problems on the construction site where someone does not take responsibility for the workers
  • Cost-cutting measures that construction companies engage in, such as failure to purchase safety accessories
  • Weather conditions during a construction project
  • Unsafe behavior by construction employees, such as riding on scaffolding while it's being moved and not paying attention while climbing on these structures

Construction site accidents can cause serious, sometimes life threatening, injuries to workers and bystanders. If you were injured in an accident, it is important to know that you have rights. Speak to a personal injury attorney about your accident to learn more about your legal options and help you pursue your claim for recovery.