Two construction workers dead in accident at JFK International Airport in New York

By KHL Staff and ReutersApril 05, 2023

Aerial view of John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens, New York (Image: eqroy via AdobeStock -

Two construction workers died at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City on April 3 after being trapped under construction rubble.

When the incident occurred, the workers were inside a trench while moving utility lines as part of an $18-billion overhaul project at the airport that includes the expansion of two existing terminals and the construction of two new ones, officials told the New York Times. 

All construction at the airport was shut down after the incident, which happened around 11:00 a.m. ET, the airport said on Twitter.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, was investigating the incident, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, calling the incident a tragedy.

The workers, who were declared dead at the scene, were identified by the Port Authority as Francisco Reyes, 41, and Fernando Lagunas Pereira, 28. No additional details about them were available.

Trench-related deaths have become a particularly troublesome type of construction hazard in recent history.

In a news release citing a “troubling rise” in such fatalities, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said 22 people had died doing trenching and excavation work in the first six months of 2022, compared with 15 in all of 2021. By year’s end, the number had risen to 35, according to media reports.

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