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Albany 38 articles

NTSB Releases First Report on NY Limo Crash That Killed 20

Federal investigators have released a report on the limo crash that killed 20 people in Upstate New York in October, but the cause of the crash is yet to be determined. The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary report of the horrific Oct. 6 crash offers little insight into the potential causes but provides some details that investigators garnered after securing access to the wrecked limousine from the Schoharie County District Attorney’s office. According to the NTSB, the limo was a 2001 Ford Excursion with a wheelbase of 11 feet that had been modified to a length of 26 feet ... Read More

Limo Involved In Horrific Crash Was Operating Illegally

The limo that crashed in Upstate New York last weekend, killing all 18 people riding inside and two pedestrians, was unfit to drive and on the road illegally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Speaking at a press conference Monday, Gov. Cuomo said the limo involved in the horrific crash, which U.S. officials say is the deadliest transportation-related accident in nearly a decade, failed a safety inspection just last month. “The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road,” Gov. Cuomo said. Additionally, the limo driver, identified by investigators as Scott Lisnicchia, 53, did ... Read More

Construction worker dies in wall collapse, another injured

One construction worker died and another was seriously injured when a retaining wall they were building collapsed on them. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) cited Onekey LLC, a development and construction management company based out of New Jersey, for exposing the employees to crushing hazards. The company’s lack of adherence to OSHA’s workplace safety regulations led directly to the unfortunate death of an employee working for one of Onekey’s subcontractors, OSHA determined. After the incident was reported, OSHA opened an investigation to determine the exact cause of the event, as well as what could have been ... Read More

Whistleblower Fired For Contesting Asbestos Violations Awarded $173,000

Federal authorities ordered a New York demolition and construction company to pay a whistleblower it allegedly fired for reporting asbestos safety concerns more than $173,000. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that it investigated Champagne Demolition LLC, an Albany-based company, and its owner Joseph Champagne in response to a worker’s complaint about improper asbestos removal practices at a New York school site. Although OSHA didn’t provide details about the alleged asbestos violations, companies that fail to follow specific procedures for proper removal not only endanger their workers but potentially expose others as well. On June 10, 2010, the ... Read More

Train Conductor’s Arm Amputation Triggers Lawsuit

An accidental arm amputation is the basis of a former railroad conductor’s lawsuit against Pan Am Railways. The lawsuit, filed by former Pan Am Railways conductor Matthew Larson in New York Supreme Court in Schenectady, alleges that the regional railway failed to provide a safe working environment by making sure the tracks were clear of debris, the Albany Times Union reports. Mr. Larson, 22, of Rensselaer County, New York, was on a train approaching a switch to the main line Dec. 15. He was giving a countdown to the engineer when an object, believed to be a tree limb, pulled ... Read More

Powassan Virus Reported in NY County

New York health authorities confirmed that a second person in Saratoga County is infected with the Powassan virus, a rare but potentially deadly disease linked to ticks. The New York State Department of Health announced last week it suspects a third person in the same county also has contracted the Powassan virus and is expected to confirm that case. Charles Smith, the first Saratoga County resident to be infected with the virus, died June 8 from the disease. A second person infected with the Powassan virus remains hospitalized. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ... Read More

Whole Foods announces cheese recall in four states due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination

Whole Foods Market announced a limited cheese recall affecting nine stores in four different states. The recalled cheese could be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes – the same health issue plaguing similar cheese recalls earlier this year. Ingestion of these bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with poor immune systems. Vulto Creamery’s cheese recall affects Ouleout and Miranda soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap with scale labels starting with PLU codes 0200305 and 0200306 and “sell by” dates from 12/27/2016 to 03/28/2017. The affected cheese products were sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, ... Read More

N.Y. Tree Service Company Fined After Worker’s Wood Chipper Death

An upstate New York tree service company faces fines of nearly $142,000 for violations that safety regulators say contributed to the horrific death of a young man who was killed during his first day on the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Countryside Tree Service’s failure to provide proper safety training for workers, plus its dependence on wood chipping machines equaled a lethal combination. On May 4, 2016, Justus Booze, 23, was working his first day on the job when a wood chipper pulled him into the machine at a job site in Guilderland, N.Y. An ... Read More

Air Samples Taken at Albany’s Oil-by-Rail Confirm Exceedingly High Benzene Levels

Benzene is a chemical widely used in a number of industries and products, particularly the oil and petroleum industry. Most people remain unaware of the toxic danger of benzene exposure, which can happen by inhalation or skin absorption. Once benzene enters the bloodstream, it affects the bone marrow and blood forming cells, which damages white and red blood cells, as well as platelets. It is a confirmed carcinogen and has been linked to a variety of cancers and blood diseases in humans. Many people that work in industries where benzene is present have experienced benzene-related leukemia and lymphoma. The American Cancer Society ... Read More

Albany Crude Oil Terminal Will Have to Undergo Entirely New Application for Air Emissions Permit

Community leaders are celebrating the decision Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) made requiring Global Companies to file an entirely new application to proceed with the transport and processing of crude oil at its Albany terminal. Global Companies filed an application with the DEC to renew its air emissions permit. The company also requested permission to add seven boilers used to heat crude oil to the rail site in Albany’s South End. But the DEC decided the material changes to environmental conditions in the area warranted an entirely new application because the benzene levels are concerning. In a press release, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Global Companies must restart its ... Read More