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Worker killed at illegal construction site in Brooklyn, Department of Buildings says

Father killed while working at illegal construction site in Brooklyn, DOB says
Father killed while working at illegal construction site in Brooklyn, DOB says 02:30

NEW YORK - A worker was killed Friday after a collapse at a residential construction site in Brooklyn, and the Department of Buildings says work should have never been going on there. 

There were no plans and no permits.

Officials say illegal construction was ongoing

It happened at 1266 50th St. The Department of Buildings said there was a stop work order at the site.

Friday, the first floor collapsed into the basement, pinning a worker and ultimately killing him.

Officials said 911 calls started coming in around noon. 

"Reporting a collapse in a building under construction with workers trapped," FDNY Assistant Chief Joseph Ferrante said. 

FDNY officials discuss fatal Brooklyn floor collapse 04:42

The FDNY said it was on the scene within minutes. 

"And confirmed that there was three people who were working in the cellar area of the structure. One of them was pinned. the first floor had collapsed into the cellar area in a V shape collapse," Ferrante said. "Which means the middle of the floor collapsed and came down on top of the victim. We're not sure what caused it. There were construction materials on the floor at the time of the collapse if it caused it or not. I don't know right now."

Ferrante said they shored up the floor and began digging out the dirt underneath the trapped worker.

"There was not a finished floor in there. They were on the dirt. They dug the dirt out from underneath the victim and removed him from the collapsed area," he said.

Dozens of emergency workers and apparatus couldn't save the victim. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This fatality absolutely should not have happened," Department of Buildings Commissioner James Oddo said. 

Watch Alice Gainer's report

Construction worker killed when floor collapses in Brooklyn 02:33

The Department of Buildings said it came out in December after two complaints and could not access the site. They say they returned Jan. 4. 

"We're able to see excavation being done. At that time we issued the stop work order," Oddo said. "There are no plans submitted to DOB... They should not have been doing this work, let alone having a Bobcat inside the structure."

"It's a $12,000 fine for the initial work. Two, violating the stop work order is another $25,000 fine. That could be multiple fines at this location. So the amount may end up in six figures," he added. 

The DOB said there's no other structure damage to homes on either side. 

The collapse triggered a major response from the FDNY, with 25 pieces of apparatus and 80 FDNY and EMS personnel at the scene.

The building owner is facing multiple fines that could end up in the six figures. We tried reaching out but could not get in touch.

Victim identified as father of two with a third on the way

Loved ones identify the victim as 33-year-old Juan Edifoncio Tamay Ganzhi. He leaves behind a pregnant wife and two sons, ages 6 and 10.

We spoke to their 10-year-old son, William, with permission from his mother.

"He was a good man. He worked for our family," William said.

Ganzhi's wife says she'll give birth in a few weeks. Her husband who worked to provide for the family is now gone.

The victim's uncle says he prays there's an investigation so they can get answers as to what happened and how he died.

The victim's wife says her husband knew there wasn't a permit. When asked why he agreed to work at a place without a permit, she replied, "Out of necessity."

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