By Sabina Mollot
Police are investigating the death of a construction worker found at the bottom of an elevator shaft on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old victim, later identified as Brooklyn resident Jucong Wu, was working on the ninth floor of 111 East 24th Street, a Sam Chang-owned building in the Flatiron District.
Emergency services were called to the site at 8:53 a.m. and pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing, though a police source said it appears to be a job site accident.
According to a spokesperson for the Department of Buildings, Wu was employed by U-Tek Elevator Inc., a firm that was installing an elevator car in the 12-story building, which is being converted to a 130-room hotel by Chang’s McSam Hotel Group.
Wu, however, was not tied to a fall-protection safety line, said the DOB.
A person who picked up the phone at McSam Hotel Group declined to comment.
The DOB said that there were no open violations or complaints related to the project, but that enforcement actions would be taken once the department concludes its investigation.
The general contractor at the site is Trinity Builders, where an employee said the company could not yet comment on the situation. A person who picked up the phone at U-Tek also declined to comment.
According to DOB records, the site has had 37 complaints, although all except the ongoing investigation have been marked as resolved. A partial stop-work order in November was lifted later in the month. Last August, a stop work order was lifted after an elevator was found “not in readiness” earlier. The elevator was most recently inspected last July 24, according to city records.
New City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera said she was “working with the FDNY, Department of Buildings, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the developer and all relevant agencies to determine the particulars of this incident.”
Gary LaBarbera, president of the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said, “Once again, a construction worker’s life is tragically lost and a family is in mourning in New York City. We offer our sincere condolences to all those touched by today’s senseless death. Construction is a dangerous industry but after a fatality last month and now another today, we are asking the city to immediately convene the Construction Safety Task Force that was part of legislation passed in the City Council last year and address this out of control epidemic.”