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Construction worker came from Mexico 3 years ago

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Jose Palacios, 42, fell to his death while working on a 13-story condominium complex in Clinton Hill on Jan. 30 after the pipe scaffold that held him collapsed, a spokeswoman for the city's Buildings Department said. The city is still investigating the accident, but the DOB spokeswoman said it could have been caused by a strong gust of wind.One of Palacios' co-workers also fell during the accident and was listed in serious condition at a Brooklyn hospital, an FDNY spokesman said.Palacios' family could not be reached for comment.But Newsday reported that the construction worker had moved to Astoria three years ago from Mexico City and lived in the borough with his niece and other family members. Palacios had been sending money back to his wife and high-school-age daughter in Mexico, Newsday reported. Palacios' family has contacted the Mexican consulate to send his body back to his home country, Newsday reported.During an initial investigation, DOB inspectors found that the three-frame scaffold pipe installed on the building's roof had collapsed, causing portions of it to fall onto sections of the second and 12th floors of the building, the DOB spokeswoman said.Although preliminary investigations indicate that high winds may have caused the collapse, DOB engineers are looking into whether the scaffolding was properly secured to the roof, she said.A DOB spokeswoman said the agency told contractors on the day of the accident that the National Weather Service was forecasting winds up to 30 miles per hour. The DOB alerts construction superintendents on job sites of potentially inclement weather conditions for safety reasons, she said.According to DOB records, the building has been issued six Environmental Control Board violations for safety-related problems since 2006, including failure to provide guard rails on stairwells on various floors of the tower, failure to provide horizontal safety netting during construction and failure to provide a construction fence.ECB violations are given to properties if they do not comply with the city's building code or zoning regulations.The building's workers had been employed by subcontractor Bell Tower Enterprises, the DOB said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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