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Stunned Onlookers Describe Frightening Brooklyn Building Collapse

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One worker was killed and another was in critical condition after the collapse of a building under construction in Brooklyn on Monday.

The incident took place at around 9 a.m. at 214 Carlton Ave., in the Clinton Hill, where a new four-story building was being built.

WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports


Five workers were on the roof of the building when it went down, CBS 2's John Slattery reported.

"It was just a huge boom," said Michael Hartman, who lives across the street. "I saw a cloud of dust rays coming up, and people scurrying out of the way."

"It sounded like a truck going over a big bump or something," Sandra Jones added.

Two of the workmen fell under the debris. Both workers were rushed to Brooklyn Hospital after having been trapped in the dirt in the basement.

"Basically the basement and the ceiling collapsed," Krichika Rajagopalan said. "They didn't look so good."

1010 WINS' Al Jones reports


"He looked like someone who had been pulled out of an earthquake," Hartman said.

Winston Gillette, 67, of Brooklyn, was pronounced dead on arrival. The injured man is 43-year-old Clayton Albord of Brooklyn. Both fell some 30 feet. Albord was in serious but stable condition Monday night, CBS 2's Slattery reported.

Fire Department officials said the work was being done by a company called Professional Grade Construction of Brooklyn, Slattery reported. the company had permits and there were no complaints.

"They were lifting pallets of masonry block inside," Hartman said. "And it looks like one of those went one way or another through the floors."

The Department of Buildings said it is investigating whether improper building methods led to the collapse, and has ordered a full stop-work order until the critical questions have been answered, CBS 2's Slattery reported.

"It's clear that it was not structurally stable and could not handle the load," Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said.

LiMandri said the five workers on top of the building were accepting a delivery of cinder blocks.

"Our forensic engineers are currently reviewing how that delivery was made," LiMandri told WCBS 880's Jim Smith.

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