BY MATT LYSIAK and DAVE GOLDINER
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Thursday, January 31st 2008, 4:00 AM
Apowerful wind gustsent a Brooklyn scaffold worker plunging 13 stories to his death Wednesday, authorities said.
Jose Palacios, 43, a big-hearted father who sent money to his wife and daughter in Mexico, was installing stucco at the top of a Clinton Ave. building when the wind knocked over his scaffold. He fell 130 feet to the ground below, witnesses said.
"He was just a screaming blur," said laborer Ben Tee, 49, who was working a few floors down. "To pick a man up and throw him that far is unbelievable."
Another worker escaped with minor injuries when he fell to a landing one floor below just after 10 a.m. A third laborer cheated death when he managed to grab onto a roof bulkhead.
Ricardo Uribe was working on the seventh floor when he heard a "big whoosh" and a crash below. He rushed to help Palacios but found him motionless.
"This is a just a huge tragedy," said Uribe, 35. "That wind was like a whirlwind."
Forecasters said winds gusted up to 39 mphWednesday morning as a winter storm moved north of the city. Buildings Department officials said they issue warning advisories to contractors when forecasters warn of winds over 30 mph.
"This huge gust just tipped the scaffolding right over," said FDNY Chief Joe Woznic.
Buildings Department spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said investigators were looking into whether the scaffold - a type that is installed on the rooftop, instead of suspended from the side of the building - was adequately secured.
Inspectors issued a stop-work order at the site. A condo complex with a glass facade is being built on the property.
Palacios' relatives remembered him as a good father who sent money home every week to his wife, Virginia.
He lived with his niece and doted on her children, and loved chatting on the computer with his teenage daughter, Veronica. "He was very sweet," said Jasmine Solis, 28, Palacios' niece.
Palacios had been working construction jobs in New York for about three years. He planned to move back to Mexico at the end of the year. His body will be sent home for burial, his loved ones said.
The fatal accident was the city's second death plunge in the past two weeks. A worker died Jan. 14 when a floor collapsed at Donald Trump's 42story tower in SoHo.
Amid calls for better safeguards, the city plans to release new construction guidelines next week. At least 43 people died while working construction in the city in 2006, the deadliest year in at least a decade, the most recent federal statistics show. The toll was up 87% from 2005, when 23 people died.
- Yellow Hooker
- Brooklyn Paper
- Brooklyn Conservative Party
- Bay Ridge Rover
- Vito Fossella Rep
- Right in Bay Ridge
- Janele Hyer-Spencer--Assembly
- Marty Golden State Senate
- Gowanus Lounge
- Vince Gentile City Council
- New York Magazine
- Community Board 11--Bensonhurst
- Serf City
- The Brooklyn Eagle
- New York Sun
- New York Post
- NewYork Times City
- The Politicker
- Daily News Brooklyn
- Bay Ridge Blog
- Brooklyn Record
- Bay Ridge, Bitches!
- Urban Elephants
- Alarming News
- Bay Ridge Talk
- Bay Ridge Courier