Philadelphia man dies after balcony collapse in Sea Isle City, New Jersey

According to officials, an 8th-floor balcony fell onto one below at a condo building in Sea Isle City.

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Saturday, February 25, 2023
Police identify man who died after balcony collapse in Sea Isle City
The man has been identified as 43-year-old Jose Pereira of Philadelphia.

SEA ISLE CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A worker is dead after becoming trapped when an 8th-floor balcony collapsed in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.

The collapse happened at about 2:20 p.m. Friday on the 3600 block of the Boardwalk at the Spinnaker South Tower condo building.

According to officials, a person was working on the 7th floor when the balcony above collapsed. Officials recovered the body of the man just before 10 p.m. Friday night.

The man has been identified as 43-year-old Jose Pereira of Philadelphia, PA. He was pronounced dead following his recovery at 9:52 p.m. Pereira was employed by Ferguson Contracting Inc., Of Yardley, PA.

Two other workers were on the 8th floor at the time of the collapse.

Neighbor Joye Fiocchi was nearby when the collapse happened.

"It's just this loud, horrible crash," she said.

Then, she came outside and said she'll never forget what she saw, and then heard.

"It makes me sick because I heard them scream twice. The first time when the incident happened, and the last time and then he stopped screaming."

Officials believe the workers were prepping to paint.

There was no immediate word on what caused the collapse.

The recovery was a delicate and complex task.

First officials say a team of engineers have to work from the inside.

To get to the victim, the emergency responders cut through about 12-inches of concrete. Through that cut, the concrete slab was lifted by using heavy lift air bags. Once the concrete was lifted, Pereira was recovered.

Officials said the condo building has been evacuated for safety and will be further inspected by engineers once all the balconies are stabilized and considered safe.

The incident is currently under investigation by Sea Isle Police Detectives, with assistance from the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).