News: Recent Tragedies on Long Island
(Long Island, N.Y.) A fire ravaged a four-story building in Brooklyn on Monday killing three residents. Among the deceased were a fourteen-year-old and a three-year-old girl. A sixty-two-year-old man was also killed in the blaze that broke out in the building’s top floor.
The incident occurred in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn near Putnam Avenue. Police estimate that the flames ignited at roughly five-thirty that night, causing at least sixty firefighters to respond to the call. The fire was brought under control and flames were extinguished within an hour.
In addition to the fatalities, two firefighters were stabilized after suffering from smoke inhalation. A forty-seven-year-old man was brought to a local hospital in critical condition, and at least three others were injured from the blaze.
Though it hasn’t been determined what caused the fire, police say that the origins of the fire are suspicious because it didn’t begin near a fire source. Authorities believe that the fire started in the building’s stairwell and some reports claimed that it may have even been started by young children in the building who were known to play there.
In a separate story, a fifty-nine-year-old motorcyclist from Farmingdale was killed after he crashed into a car in Hicksville. The man was riding on a 2010 Harley Davidson and traveling east on Duffy Avenue at roughly a quarter past three on Tuesday afternoon. The man was rushed by ambulance to the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, but was pronounced dead roughly forty minutes later.
In a different incident, a forty-four-year-old recycling plant worker from Westbury was crushed into heavy machinery while on the job. The type of equipment he was operating was called a debris sorting conveyor belt, and he was an employee at the Emjay Environmental Recycling building in Brentwood. The man was trapped inside the machine and stuck within the belt after his arm got lodged while operating the system.
The man’s coworkers alerted police at roughly four-thirty on Tuesday afternoon and emergency responders arrived shortly after. They told authorities that the man was last seen alive roughly three and a half hours earlier. He was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel who first responded.
The Town of Islip Fire Marshall’s Office will be handling the investigation into this work-related fatality. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also be looking into details concerning the case. According to statistics obtained by a national workplace census from 2009, at least 4,340 fatal injuries are reported in the United States each year. That number has decreased significantly from the 5,214 work-related fatalities reported in 2008.
A factor involved in the decrease of the total annual fatal work injuries is the economy. The total hours worked in the United States fell by at least six percent in 2009. Experts estimated that an even sharper decrease was experienced in the construction-related fields. In the private construction sector, hours worked yearly fell at least sixteen percent.
Similar statistics estimate that transportation-related incidents accounted for at least two-fifths of all fatal work injuries in 2009. Occupational fields that saw an increase in work-related injuries were classified under buildings/ground cleaning and maintenance.