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January 10, 2011

The collapse of a cinder block wall on a Queens, NY construction site has left one construction worker dead and three more seriously injured.

A 20-foot tall by 64-foot wide cement block wall collapsed at about 9:30am this morning on a construction site at 84-16 Queens Blvd. in the Elmhurst area of Queens as workers were filling the insides of the wall with concrete, reported the NY Daily News.

According to an article by the New York Times, two workers were on top of the wall and two other workers were on the ground next to the wall when it collapsed. The two workers on top of the wall rode the tumbling blocks as they fell, the two men on the ground crushed and trapped under the onslaught of blocks.

The New York City Fire Department responded to the scene and conducted rescue operations. Ambulances transported all four workers to Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. One worker died on the way to the hospital and the three others were in serious condition suffering trauma and fractures.

Killed in the incident was Huberto Sanchez, 26, of Queens, a married man who has two children and another on the way.

The NYC Department of Buildings has issued a stop work order while the agency investigates the incident.

"We are investigating whether the work was being done properly," agency representative Ryan Fitzgibbon told the NY Daily News.

According to a NYC Department of Building, more than 200 construction related injuries and three deaths occur each year. Nearly 18% of construction injury events are due to material falling and 45% due to workers falling.

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