NEW YORK — Two men working on the Manhattan Bridge fell Wednesday afternoon — one plunging 100 feet to his death, officials said.
The victim, who was in his 40s, was part of a 10-person crew, all using safety harnesses, who were painting on the Manhattan side of the bridge, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
The crew had to unhook and reattach themselves as they changed position, and the man lost his footing in the process, police said.
He fell while above land just before 2 p.m., landing by Pike Slip and South Street. The man died on the scene, cops said.
“He was down on the ground. It was awful. They were holding a sheet over him. When they placed the sheet over him, it turned bloody. It gave me the chills,” said Jacqueline Hurd, 48, a retired sanitation worker who lives a block away. “God bless his family.”
“You’ve gotta say a prayer for all the guys working up there,” she added.
The man’s name was not immediately disclosed as cops tracked down family members.
The victim worked for Champion Specialty Services, a subcontractor for Skanska, the construction firm hired by the Department of Transportation to work on the bridge, city officials said.
About an hour later, a second worker fell a shorter distance onto a nearby building, police said. Medics took him to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
“This is a terrible tragedy and the victim’s family and friends are in our thoughts. It is too soon to determine what led to this incident with our contractor,” said city Transportation Department spokesman Seth Stein.
The MTA shut down power on the bridge’s subway lines as police investigated, causing delays on the B/D/N/Q/W lines.