UPDATED, 4:10 p.m., March 19: A woman was fatally struck Tuesday by a piece of plywood from the Greenwich Lane construction site. The Rudin family and Eyal Ofer’s Global Holdings are converting the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital into luxury condominiums and townhomes, spanning West 11th and 12th Streets along Seventh Avenue. Though this was the first fatality associated with the project, it is far from the first serious incident.
When completed, the Greenwich Lane will include 200 condos in five buildings at 140 West 12th Street, 150 West 12th Street, 160 West 12th Street, 145 West 11th Street and 155 West 11th Street, as well as five townhomes. The victim, 37-year-old Trang-Thuy Nguyen, was talking on her cell phone when the plywood ripped from fencing around 155 West 11th Street and, propelled by extremely high winds, struck her, slamming her into a wall. Nguyen, who was an agent at Keller Williams NYC, was taken to Bellevue Hospital and died there shortly after the incident, which occurred just before 6 p.m., according to the New York Daily News.
A look at Department of Buildings records shows that construction at 155 West 11th Street has resulted in several pedestrian accidents dating back to 2013, and has resulted in a number of complaints. Following the most recent accident, a full stop-work order was issued at the property. Construction on the remaining buildings at the Greenwich Lane, however, remains active.
“What happened is tragic and devastating,” Bill and Eric Rudin said in a statement on behalf of the Rudin and Ofer families. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family.”
A representative for Turner Construction Company, which is handling construction at the Greenwich Lane, said that “we are inspecting and performing safety related activities on the site and will contact Department of Buildings and agencies for re-inspection prior to work resuming.”
In regards to the active violations, the spokesperson said, “we have taken the necessary measures to correct the conditions and we are working our way through the administrative process with the Department of Buildings.”
A representative for Keller Williams confirmed that Nguyen was an agent at the firm, but said that the brokerage did not issue a statement about the tragedy “in order to respect the family’s privacy.”
While this is the first fatal accident at the Greenwich Lane, a complaint was filed last year with the DOB which reported a worker being struck in the head by falling debris. Other complaints cited a concrete pump spraying onto pedestrians on 12th Street and a crane dangling from the building.
There were three complaints filed earlier this month against the building, including reports of a crane accident, a worker falling six feet from a ladder and failure to protect the premises and people, according to DOB records.
Two active violations exist at 140 and 150 West 12th streets. In October, a partial stop-work order was issued for scaffolding which are not projected by guardrails.
In January 2013, a site safety manager reported a fire. An inspection of the premises revealed combustible materials had caught fire and the DOB issued a full stop-work order.
A similar scaffolding complaint was filed in October at 145 West 11th Street and 160 West 12th Street and a complaint from August cited construction material falling off the exterior entrance of the building, which hit a pedestrian in the head.
The Greenwich Lane is one among several high-profile residential projects that have been hit with stop-work orders over construction accidents. In January, work was briefly suspended at Macklowe Properties’ 432 Park Avenue after an eight-foot-long section of pipe fell from a hoist car on the 81st floor and crashed to the ground. And on Sunday night, a kitchen table-sized sheet of plexiglas tumbled from Extell Development’s One57, hitting two parked cars.