Carbon Monoxide Incident Leaves 9 Hurt in Murray Hill: FDNY

The Patch - February 06, 2019

Some of the hurt were underground, the FDNY said. By Sydney Pereira, Patch Staff | Feb 5, 2019 5:44 pm ET | Updated Feb 5, 2019 7:53 pm ET

MURRAY HILL, NY— Nine people were hurt at a Murray Hill construction site after carbon monoxide leaked from gas-fueled generators, a fire department source said. Some of the hurt were trapped underground.

Of the hurt, four were said to be in serious condition though none had life threatening injuries, the FDNY said.

The incident was reported at 30 East 29th St, the site of an under-construction 46 story tower, around 4:30 p.m. Workers reportedly felt dizzy and nauseated, FDNY officials said at a news briefing on Tuesday around 6 p.m.

Two workers were sick enough that they had to be lifted out by emergency personnel, said John Esposito, the FDNY's chief of special operations.

Air monitors found carbon monoxide levels below ground in the work area to be above 700 parts per million, said Esposito, who added 10 parts per million is considered dangerous. Above ground carbon monoxide levels were still above 350.

The high levels of carbon monoxide were caused gas-powered generators being used on the worksite, FDNY officials said.

Twelve FDNY units and around 60 personnel from the Fire Department were on the scene, according to FDNY.

The construction site at E. 29th St. is slated to be an Art-Deco inspired residential tower, rising 639-feet, developed by Rockefeller Group.

Foundation work — with concrete pump trucks, mixers, and a rigging crane — was being laid at the site as recently as mid-January, New York YIMBY reported at the time. The 46-story tower will house 123 units, according to YIMBY, with some duplexes to have two-story high windows.

The Department of Buildings was on the scene Tuesday night investigating the incident, according to DOB spokesperson Andrew Rudansky.

"We were notified by our general contractor of an incident earlier this evening at our project on E 29th Street," the developers, Rockefeller Group, said in a statement.

"It is our understanding that some workers were exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide. All work at the site has been halted and first responders are on the scene attending to those affected. At this time our concern is for those who may be injured, and we have personnel on-site to assist the authorities in any way we can."