Construction worker falls to his death

A hardhat plunged to his death from the top of an under-construction high-rise in lower Manhattan on Thursday morning, officials said.

Juan ChonilloFacebook

Juan Chonillo, 43, of Queens fell from the 29th story while on a platform at the work site in the Financial District on Maiden Lane between South Street and Front Street at about 9:15 a.m. and landed on scaffolding on the first-floor level, according to officials.

Chonillo apparently missed the clipping to a security hook and plunged from the platform, which was shaking, workers at the site said.

He was found unconscious with trauma to the body and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“We had to secure the area before accessing the victim,” said FDNY Deputy Chief Tom Currao, who noted that Chonillo “was wearing a safety harness.”

Family members and co-workers of the victim were spotted crying following the man’s death at the work site, where a 670-foot luxury residential tower called 1 Seaport is being built.

“I am devastated,” said the victim’s cousin Angel Munoz, 46. “I was working in Queens and my brother called me and told me … couple of years we were together and now he’s gone.”

Chonillo was a native of Ecuador and a father of five, Munoz said.

A worker from a nearby site who would only identify himself as James, 65, said he heard a scream during the fatal incident.

“I was coming out of the portable bathroom … I stepped out and heard a scream, a loud scream, loud as hell and a loud thump … his body bounced,” James said.

The worker added, “He didn’t have on the safety strap. He took a step and fell right through.”

Department of Buildings officials Wednesday slapped a partial stop-work order on the work site because of a “possible unsafe crane operation,” records show.

A family member cries after hearing about the fatal fall.William Farrington

Inspectors found that there was no approved permit for the on-site crane.

Since Jan. 3, the work site has been slapped with nine construction-related violations, racking up $24,000 in fines, according to Buildings records.

Of the nine violations, only five have been resolved, records show.

The remaining open violations include one from July 20 against the Orangeburg-based Abbey Associates for failure to safeguard “all persons/property affected by construction operation,” for the use of a tower crane without a working light system, records show.

Abbey didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

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