Four People Injured in Construction Accident in Midtown

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Four people were injured when construction paneling collapsed from a building on West 40th Street near Broadway on Friday, delivering a jolt to the bustling area around 10 a.m., fire officials said.

Three people were taken to Bellevue Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, fire officials said. One firefighter also suffered non-life threatening injuries.

A spokesman for the city's fire department described the debris as construction paneling.

The initial call came in at 10:04 a.m. and firefighters were on the scene at 10:07 a.m., officials said.

Greg Muse, 53 years old, flew in from Boston Friday morning. Mr. Muse, a merchandising specialist, was setting up products at the Marc Joseph salon next door when he heard the crash.

"We ran out and someone was telling me, ‘I think someone's under the wall,'" he said. "We tried pulling it up and it was really heavy. Others pulled her out; her forehead was bleeding and she was holding her head and crying uncontrollably."

Someone at the other end of the collapsed wall was screaming that someone was underneath that end, Mr. Muse said.

"It was about 25, 30 of us guys trying to lift this wall up," he said. "We had to use everything we had to get it up. Finally, we saw the woman's head and got her out."

"The entire wall came down. The whole length of the building came down," Mr. Muse said. "All of us had to use everything we had to lift it."

Joanna Di Maggio, 28, the salon manager, said the wall was too heavy for her to lift so she dialed 911.

"The woman was crying and shaking," Ms. Di Maggio said. "It was crazy, just crazy."

Earlier on Friday, the city Department of Buildings issued a warning reminding all builders, contractors, and property owners to secure construction sites due to expected wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.


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