These men were working along side other construction workers, putting up a four-story, two-family home at 227 Carlton Street in Fort Greene. The problem arose when a load of concrete and cinder blocks being delivered to the site caused an I-beam to give way just after 9 a.m.
The two men were found in the basement under piles of debris and rubble. They were pulled out by rescue workers just before 10 a.m. Gillett died at Brooklyn Hospital and LaBoard was listed in serious condition at Kings County Hospital. The general contractor on the site is Professional Grade Construction of 1669 East 10th St. in Brooklyn.
One worker who was with the two men just before the building began to shake was 55-year-old hardhat veteran Ignatius Regis. He was working as a brick layer and watched Gillett and LaBoard fall to the basement.
When the building began to shake, Regis and another construction workers jumped to safety to a part of the building that was stable. A supervisor held on to a pile of cinderblocks as the floor collapsed and eventually was able to pull himself up, avoiding the four-story fall.
When asked what went wrong Regis blames cutting corners.
“This metal is not built to put so much weight on it,” he said. “It was overloaded.”
Regis went on to say that the building had already been shaking before the incident occurred, and that he is nervous to go back to work on the construction site.
Regis said that the foreman was on the road, and when witnessing what was happening attempted to stop a man from dropping the load of cement that caused the accident.
“The foreman was trying to stop the guy, but he couldn't,” said Regis.
City officials told reporters on Monday that they will investigate the events that led up to this incident. Building Commissioner Robert LiMandri, who was at the site, said that the city will look into the specifics regarding the delivery of the cement and cinderblocks, as well as who allowed the delivery to occur. During the investigation there will be a full stop-work order,.
LiMandri also said that Professional Grade Construction received one complaint since beginning work at this site, but after an investigation no violations were issued.
Regis was friends with the worker who was killed and the critically wounded man. After taking a moment to reflect on the death of Gillett he said, “it is a great loss.”