Boerum Hill

Brooklyn: Worker dies in tragic accident at hotel construction site

Next to schoolyard in busy Boerum Hill neighborhood

October 11, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Police vehicles at the site of Tuesday’s tragic construction accident. Photo by Mary Frost
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A man working construction at the site of a hotel going up in the Boerum Hill neighborhood at the edge of Downtown Brooklyn was killed in a tragic accident at roughly 1:20 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Paul Kennedy, 43, of the Bronx, was pronounced dead at the scene.

FDNY and NYPD swarmed the scene at 61 Bond St., at the corner of Schermerhorn St., where GFI Hospitality and GFI Development Company are putting up a 13-story hotel on a corner that recently held an open air parking lot.

According to a report filed by the NYC Department of Buildings, Kennedy was drilling piles when a shackle from a crane snapped off, fell down and hit the worker on the head.

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An NYPD spokesperson said that responding 84th Precinct officers discovered the man “unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to the body.”

According to FDNY and NYPD, Kennedy was pronounced dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation is ongoing.

The general contractor on the site is Broadway Construction Group. A company spokesperson told the Eagle on Tuesday, “We are deeply saddened by this terrible tragedy. Our thoughts are with the grieving family at this time. We are committed to the highest standards of safety and are fully cooperating with the investigation into how this happened.”

 “When I first got here, I saw the firemen and the ambulance arrive. This was before we actually knew what happened,” Raphael Otero, a teacher at M.S. 369, told the Eagle. M.S. 369 is next to the construction site on the State Street side.

“We didn’t hear anything, which is shocking because our schoolyard is right next door and we have recess at that time,” Otero said.

He added, “We always have concerns for the site. We have a lot of busing situations with them. They take up a lot of the street and it’s hard for the buses to get in and out. We have a lot of children that walk around in the area. So we have to have the concerns.”

Otero added that the school also “had an issue with these buildings across the street, something that happened with the net sprayer that shot out. They were shut down for a little while.”

According to GFI, the 18,000-square-foot corner parcel is being developed into a “lifestyle hotel” slated to open in the Spring of 2018.

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