Worker killed in balcony collapse at Sea Isle City apartment building


SEA ISLE CITY, NJ (CBS) – Police have identified a man who was killed after a balcony collapsed at an apartment building in Sea Isle City Friday afternoon.

Jose Pereira, 43, of Philadelphia, was trapped under the 8th-floor balcony when it collapsed onto the 7th-floor balcony at the south tower of the Spinnaker Condominium Complex off 36th Street and the Boardwalk. Pereira was pinned down.

He was pronounced dead at the scene before 10pm on Friday after an hour-long rescue effort.

Pereira worked for a contractor based in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Officials said two other workers had minor injuries.

The residents evacuated the building while the rescue work took place.

The balconies at the building’s south tower are now being reinforced. Private engineers will conduct additional inspections, Sea Isle City police said.

Residents are not allowed inside until the work is completed.

“This has been a tragic day at the Spinnaker, my heart is broken at the moment but I ask that you please keep the Spinnaker staff, contractors, their families and first responders in your thoughts tonight,” building management told residents on Friday night.

Officials fear trapped workers did not survive balcony collapse


Witnesses heard someone calling for help after the collapse.

“Just total chaos,” said witness Joye Fiocchi. “Just people screaming.”

“I called 911 right away,” Fiocchi said. “And it’s only 20 minutes later I heard him scream again. I guess he said get it off me and I never heard anything since.”

Eric Hupperich was inside the building on break in a lower level unit when it all happened.

“We felt it through our bodies like shaking and it was a really, really loud boom,” Hupperich said.


First responders from Cape May and Camden counties, as well as at the state level, worked together in recovery efforts to free the man trapped on the 7th floor.


Rescuers broke a hole through the exterior concrete wall, which was about a foot thick, to get Pereira.

From the ground you could see several large cracks in the concrete.

Later in the evening, crews were seen putting up wooden planks to stabilize the building. This was after fire officials noticed that the balcony was showing signs of stress.

“We estimate the balconies to weigh between 11,000-15,000 pounds apiece,” Matt Johnson said.

The 9-storey complex, built in the 1970s, was evacuated.

Officials say the private contractors were doing prep and painting work on the building earlier Friday.

Two injured, one trapped when balcony collapses at Cape May County condo building


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