NEW YORK -- Construction equipment fell off a condemned skyscraper at the World Trade Center site yesterday, injuring two firefighters patrolling the area after a deadly blaze last week in the same building.
A pallet jack used to carry construction equipment fell off the tower's 23d floor and through a construction shed, hitting the two firefighters who were underneath, officials said.
They were both in stable condition, one with head injuries and the other with neck and back injuries, said Jim Long, Fire Department spokesman.
The firefighters had been monitoring the building in the aftermath of a seven-alarm fire in the building Saturday that killed two firefighters.
Work at the 26-story partially-dismantled tower stopped immediately. "All workers are off the site," said Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which owns the condemned tower.
Demolition of the tower had been suspended after the fire, but work had resumed repairing scaffolding, removing debris, and containing toxic material in the building.
On Wednesday, city officials acknowledged that the Fire Department had not regularly inspected the building, which has been vacant since it was damaged by the falling twin towers during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They also did not have a plan to fight a fire there, the city said. Both steps were required.
When the fire broke out, the standpipe needed to bring water up to the level of the fire was not working.
Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino became trapped on one of the burning floors and died of cardiac arrest and smoke inhalation after their oxygen ran out.
The Fire Department had not inspected the standpipe since April 2006, although it was required to do so every 15 days, the city said in a statement. The head of the city's fire union said the Fire Department had told the local firehouse over a year ago to stop the inspections because of health concerns in the toxic building.
At Graffagnino's funeral in Brooklyn yesterday, Governor Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to aggressively investigate what happened.