Bovis Lend Lease safety supervisor expected to be charged for manslaughter over Manhattan fire

A safety supervisor employed by Bovis Lend Lease is expected to be amongst those facing charges for manslaughter over a 2007 site fire in Manhattan which left two firefighters dead.

According to the New York Times, Jeffrey Melofchik, a site safety supervisor for Bovis, will be charged for manslaughter later on today alongside Mitchell Alvo, an executive of subcontractor John Galt and various others. The newspaper said Bovis Lend Lease itself would not be indicted.

Bovis and John Galt had been carrying out demolition and asbestos removal on the Deutsche Bank building, a tower block extensively damaged by the 9/11 terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan.

During works in 2007, fire broke out in the 41-storey building. The blaze became difficult to control as the building’s sprinkler system had been dismantled and fire exits sealed off. Two firefighters were killed whilst battling the fire.

It emerged that Bovis had offered a $5m “memorial payment” to the families of each of the deceased firefighters. One of the families accepted the money on the understanding it would not prevent them pursuing a civil lawsuit against the company or its subcontractors. The other family would not accept the payment.