May 20, 2009

Only minor injuries from shaft fall

A man who fell down a 16th floor shaft at a New York construction site had only minor injuries after a tangle of duct work broke his fall, authorities said.

Co-workers said welder George Saguay slipped while working just before 2:30 p.m. on the 16th floor of the construction site at 303 E. 77th St. and fell down a shaft, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

Saguay was still conscious when his fall was broken by a tangle of duct work four stories down.

He looked very scared, plumber Wil Rodriguez, 52, said. I just kept talking to him, keeping him calm and relaxed.

Firefighters secured Saguay with an overhead rope and cut through the duct work to free him from the shaft.

Capt. Michael Parks, an acting battalion chief who participated in the rescue, said the worker was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital with only minor injuries.

I guess it was quite a ride, Parks said. He's very lucky.