NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The scene is clear and the roads have reopened at the site of a construction zone on Lafayette Street in New Haven that collapsed on Friday.
City leaders say the ground floor is an above-ground parking level, and the bent rebar where the workers were pouring cement is visible.
“You’re talking about over 3 million pounds of concrete,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker. “It’s not quite clear what exactly happened. Much of the concrete had already been poured.”
The investigation continues into how eight construction workers were injured Friday while working on a seven-story residential building.
Leaders say that of the eight patients, four are still in the hospital, and one is in serious condition.
“I saw some firetrucks with the ladders up, tied some rope, and they lifted them out of the building,” said Walter Rubino, an employee at the nearby St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church. “Then there was anyone they took out, and they carried him down the ladder.”
Rubino works next door at the church, which he said rents space to the construction crew for equipment and parking. Rubino said he interacts with the crew regularly.
“They sit all around the fence eating lunch. A lot of them have kids, I know,” Rubino said. “They’re young. Some of them work Sundays. Seven days a week, they’re here.”
Fencing is now up around the site. OSHA is conducting the investigation.
Elicker said Yale University owns the property, and RMS Companies is leasing the building. He said the company has built more than 500 apartments at other New Haven properties, and have not violated permits or inspections before.
“We never found any issues with them in the past, and so this comes as a real surprise,” Elicker said.”
News 8 reached out to RMS Companies for a statement regarding the incident.
“First and foremost, the safety of our construction teams is our top priority. Our thoughts are focused on a full recovery for those who were injured and we greatly appreciate the heroic work of the first responders. We will continue to work with our engineers and safety team and all of the appropriate government agencies to fully investigate the incident,” a spokesperson for RMS Companies said in a statement.
The video below aired in our 6 p.m. newscast on June 3, 2023.