The man who was missing after a retaining wall collapsed at a construction site in Sunset Park has been found dead.
According to authorities, 47-year-old Luis Almonte’s body was recovered at the construction site at 714 49th Street on Thursday, September 14, over 24 hours after the wall collapsed on Wednesday, September 12 at around 1:33 p.m.
Six construction workers were digging 20 feet into the ground at the site when the wall fell. Five injured workers were rescued and a search began for the remaining worker.
Later that day, the FDNY tweeted that, “The incident is transitioning from a rescue to a recovery.”
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca said he was relieved that the victim’s family would perhaps have “some closure.”
“I’m really honored to let you know that the body has been recovered,” he said of the Inwood resident, praising the response of a laundry list of city agencies and the Red Cross. Noting that the city’s Department of Investigations is “going to continue to investigation of what happened here,” Menchaca stressed, “Everyone came here united.”
Elected officials also emphasized the importance of keeping workers safe.
“This happens many times in the city and we’ve been sending messages that this kind of negligent site work and prep-work is unacceptable,” Menchaca added.
Noting that he and Councilmember Jumaane Williams had make construction safety legislation a priority, he said, “Safety is paramount. We can’t allow workers to die in our construction sites. We’re going to ask your help to continue to send that message and really bring every accountability measure possible.”
Assemblymember Felix Ortiz agreed, contending, “Somebody must be held responsible for this negligence.”