By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities were investigating on Wednesday how
a laborer was crushed to death in the World Trade Center pit, where
he was painting a portion of a commuter rail station being rebuilt
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the
site, said Hugo V. Martinez, 36, of Long Island, was found dead
early Tuesday morning by other workers. He was apparently crushed
by a construction lift, about 20 feet from the ground.
Port Authority spokesman Greg Trevor said the agency and the
federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were
investigating how Martinez died.
Martinez's employer, Alvin Levine, president of L&L Painting
Company Inc., said Wednesday that the company had "no idea" what
happened to Martinez, who worked for the Long Island business for
"We're all devastated by what happened," Levine said.
OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald could not comment on the specifics
of the investigation into Martinez's death, but said a typical
analysis would determine whether safety standards were met, and
could result in fines if a safety lapse were discovered.
The death was the first accident-related fatality of a
construction worker at the site since the Sept. 11 attack, which
killed nearly 2,800 people and collapsed the twin towers into a
pile of rubble 10 stories high.
Rescue workers and laborers spent nine months searching for
human remains and cleaning up the site, which is now a pit seven
stories deep. The unprecedented effort was extremely dangerous for
months, as workers toiled atop heaps of shifting debris made
unstable and slippery by rain, mud and smoldering rubble
City officials hailed the effort as remarkable, citing the
nine-month record of no deaths or serious injuries to workers. Some
1.62 million tons of rubble were sifted and removed.
Kenneth Holden, who oversaw much of the work as commissioner of
the city's Department of Design and Construction, said the rate of
injury at the site was half of what it would have been on a typical
construction project. Holden announced this week he is leaving the
"The safety record there has been exceptional," Port Authority
spokesman Pasquale DiFulco said.
Now, the pit is a busy construction site with about 1,000
laborers working during a typical day, the Port Authority said.
Most of the work is focused on rebuilding transportation
infrastructure, like the PATH train station where Martinez was
Crews are building the new PATH terminal along the west side of
the pit. The commuter rail station was destroyed when the towers
The Port Authority has said that it hopes to re-establish PATH
service between New Jersey and lower Manhattan by December.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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06-25-2003, 10:59 PM #1
Ground Zero...claims another victimProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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06-26-2003, 10:02 AM #2
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- Jun 2003
- Westlake, Ohio
How sad. To me, it was miraculous that no one was killed during the clean-up process when you consider all of the instability and heat in the rubble. It's sad that this man has died. My prayers to his family.
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