A Huntington man doing construction on a Huntington Station home Monday was crushed to death by a cement retaining wall that collapsed on top of him, Suffolk police and town officials said.
Julian Castellanos, 47, who was hired to build an outside entrance for the basement apartment of the Crabapple Court home, was pronounced dead at the scene after the wall, one of two he had recently built, gave way, police said.
He was building steps for the entrance to the apartment when the wall collapsed around noon, Homicide Squad Sgt. Charles Leser said.
The wall was so heavy an Emergency Services crew had to be called in to remove it with air bags, Leser said.
Two construction workers who were also at the residence were not injured, he said.
"This is all in front of one of his workers," Leser said at the scene.
Work on the project had recently begun, said homeowner Sherri Arbabzadeh.
Huntington Town spokesman A.J. Carter said no work permits had been issued for the work.
"If work was being done at the house, it was not being done with a permit," Carter said. "The town was unaware that there was work being done at the house."
It was not known Monday afternoon whether Castellanos was a licensed contractor, Leser said, adding the investigation was ongoing and Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials were scheduled to arrive at the scene Monday night.
Carter said it's likely a summons will be issued to the homeowner.
Huntington Manor Fire Department Chief Fred Steenson Jr. said a technical rescue team from his department responded after a 911 call made at 12:08 p.m.
Arbabzadeh, reached by phone, said the construction in the house started a few days ago.
Arbabzadeh, who is recovering from breast cancer surgery, said she wanted to move in with her mother and daughter so she could recover surrounded by family. She said Castellanos was one of the workers recommended by her real estate agent.
"I'm still in shock right now," Arbabzadeh said.
Distraught relatives of Castellanos arrived at the scene shortly before 1:30 p.m. They were too upset to comment.