Man dies in Harlem building collapse

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Holding Image (Credit: amNY)

A 69-year-old construction worker was killed and two others were injured Thursday when a Harlem building that was being demolished collapsed.

Juan Ruiz, 69, died at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital after being pulled from the wreckage. King Range,60, was hospitalized with life threatening injuries. The third victim, Sakim Kirby, 30, was treated at the scene.

"I just seen brick falling on the workers. I just seen people running towards it but they couldn_t get them out," witness Willy Katende, 46, told

"It sounded like bomb ‹ boom. It came down so fast," he added. "The whole thing came down."

All three victims -- Juan Ruiz, 69, King Range, 60, and Sakim Kirby, 30 were pulled from the wreckage by other workers. Ruiz and Range were rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital with life-threatening injuries and Kirby was treated at the scene, officials said. Ruiz died at the hospital The two-story building, located at 604-606 W. 131st St. and owned by Columbia University came down at about 7:51 a.m.. Construction workers had been demolishing the nearly 100-year-old building since last month.

The construction company, Breeze National Inc., faced two DOB violations this month for not notifying the department about the demolition and for workers not wearing safety harnesses, according to published reports.

The company didn't return requests for Thursday. 

Tags: News , Harlem , St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital

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