Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kensington Man Survives Brighton Beach Building Collapse

Oleksandr Kushch of Kensington described last week how he was knocked unconscious when the steel skeleton of the condo complex he was helping construct collapsed and woke up several moments later under a pile of rubble.

Oleksandr Kushch
Kushch, 26, explained that he was using a buffer to smooth out freshly poured concrete on the fourth floor of the partly constructed building when the accident happened.

“When I woke up, I saw all the metal beams. Everything was on top of me,” he said while recovering at his home in Kensington.

“Oh my god, I was buried,” Kushch continued. “I started digging myself out. I don’t know how I got out. ... I have two small children. I had to get out.”

One floor below two other construction workers were also injured, and one of them, Ivan Lendel, a Ukrainian immigrant, died later from his wounds.

Preliminary investigations by city officials are guessing that the building collapsed because the concrete was poured on the top floors before the bottom floors were completely fortified.

Kushch himself did not notice any problems with the way the construction was being conducted.

“I’ve worked in a lot of places in nine years. This is the way we’ve always done it. It’s easier to bring the machines down than up,” he said.

“The building was all metal, not wood. It should have held. It should have been strong,” he added.