Construction Fatality Shocks Co-Workers, Neighbors

Kawika Leopoldo
Kawika Leopoldo
Manmeet Rana
Manmeet Rana
Mimi Manansala
Mimi Manansala

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Shock and sadness Monday night after a construction worker is killed in an accident. It happened at a condominium construction project on Kapiolani Boulevard Monday morning.

It is the most dangerous industry in America. More people die while working construction than any other profession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More than 1,200 people died while working at construction sites in 2006, about a fifth of all work-related fatalities. That's exactly how a local man died Monday.

Co-workers describe 50-year-old Greg Wong as a gruff but loveable guy, who worked with them close to 20 years. They and people who live nearby are shocked he is no longer here.

A multi-million dollar construction project has a high financial cost, and sometimes even a personal one. An accident at this construction site on Kapiolani Boulevard killed Wong.

"It's sad," said Kawika Leopoldo, Wong's colleague. "He's a good worker. He worked with us for long time."

Witnesses told police strong winds caused the boom on this pump to hit Wong in the face. He was taken to Straub hospital where he died.

"Oh, it's hard," said Leopoldo. "It's tear-jerking. Very emotional."

Wong's co-workers at American Standard Concrete Pumping had no comment.

As the news spread, people who live near the construction site are also in shock.

"It's a tragic event," said Manmeet Rana, a Honolulu resident. "It's something you wish never happened."

"It's sad," said Mimi Manansala, a Honolulu resident who lives next door to the construction project. "It's sad to hear that someone lost a family member."

Monday afternoon, employees continued working on the project, moving forward and double checking safety measures.

"Safety always first," said Leopoldo. "We gotta stay on the balls of our feet."

A renewed focus on safety to prevent future tragedies.

"In all aspects, be careful of what they do and make sure something like this doesn't happen again," said Rana.

The Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health office is conducting an investigation. The construction company's executives released a statement, saying they are saddened by this tragic event. Their thoughts and prayers go out to Wong's family.