Sunset is mourning the loss of its own.
Sunset Park resident Wilfredo Enriques died on Friday, December 9 while working construction on Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar factory site, 325 Kent Avenue, which is currently being converted into a 16-story structure which will include 500 rental units, over 100 of them deemed to be affordable.
According to police and the FDNY, the 59-year-old — who lived at Third Avenue and 57th Street — fell two stories from a work elevator on the sixth floor at around 8:07 a.m., suffering trauma to the head. When EMS and police arrived at the scene, Enriques was rushed to Woodhull Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“We are overwhelmed with grief by this tragic accident and extend our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and colleagues,” said a representative of Two Trees Management Company, which broke ground on the building on March of last year. “All work has stopped on the site and we are working closely with the city to determine the cause of the accident.”
“We are devastated by the loss of Wilfredo Enriques, a dedicated employee and friend for the past decade. Our prayers are with Wilfredo’s family at this very difficult time,” said John Gibney, principal of PG Products of New York, which employed Enriques, a carpenter. “We are fully cooperating with Two Trees and the DOB to understand how this tragedy occurred.”
At this point, it’s unclear what caused Enriques to fall, and medical examiners are still determining the cause of death.
Since the fatal accident, local elected officials have chimed in on the death of the Sunset Park resident.”As the administration works to keep up with the construction boom and housing demand in the city, it’s becoming apparent that we are not doing enough in balancing the need to protect the lives of construction workers and the public in keeping up with the pace of demand,” said Councilmember Jumaane Williams, chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee. “While progress has been made in improving safety on job sites, this latest tragedy is evidence we have a long way to go. It’s the responsibility of contractors to ensure safety at their work sites. It’s the responsibility of the city to provide proper oversight, and effective punishment to insist that this happens.”
“By all accounts, Wilfredo was an experienced worker and a proud contributor to the construction industry that shapes our city at the most basic level,” added Councilmember Stephen Levin. “While it is certain our city is in need of housing, particularly affordable housing, when it comes to construction, we must prioritize safety above all, each and every time.”