Construction worker falls to his death in lower Manhattan: FDNY

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MANHATTAN — A construction worker fell more then two dozen floors to his death in lower Manhattan Thursday morning, according to the FDNY.

Emergency crews were called at about 9:20 a.m. to Maiden Lane near South Street about an injured male, police said.

A construction worker was laying concrete on the 29th floor when he fell, landing on the second floor, police said. The city's Department of Buildings said his harness was on but not clipped in. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police and family identified the victim as Juan Chonillo, 43, of Queens.

"When I was little, he was like a brother..." the victim's cousin Angel Munoz said. "I can't believe this happened. Nice guy."

Juan Chonillo, 43, died on Sept. 21, 2017, when he fell more than two dozen stories at a construction site in lower Manhattan. (Facebook)

Chonillo was a father of five supporting his family in Ecuador by working construction in lower Manhattan at what will eventually become a 57-story residential tower at 161 Maiden Lane.

Since April, there have been at least 10 violations at the site. Five of them were still open as of Thursday, including a partial stopwork order issued the day before due to unsafe opperation of a crane.

A DOB spokesman said investigators are on the scene looking for possible violations but the standing violations do not appear to be related to Chonillo's death.

For the last year and a half, the New York City District Council of Carpenters has been picketing the site, handing out leaflets accusing SSC High Rise Construction of unsafe working conditions.

Next week, the City Council is set to consider a bill to mandate a uniform, minimum amount of safety training at all construction sites.

Construction workers point to the cocoon-type orange netting on some buildings for ensuring workers' safety, but that netting was not on the building where Chonillo was working.

A spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the agency has opened an inspection in connection with the fatality.

About six hours after Chonillo died, a construction worker died and another was hurt at a site in midtown Manhattan.

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