NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A Rutgers student had to be rescued by the city’s Fire Department after he fell into a hole at a College Avenue construction site on April 2.
The incident occurred at about 7pm, after construction workers had left for the day at the future site of the Rutgers Hillel building at 78 College Avenue.
“The individual who got on to the site was a student who resides off-campus. I have no additional information on the individual,” said a Rutgers spokesperson.
According to the Daily Targum’s Dan Corey, students at neighboring fraternity houses called authorities after the man yelled for help for more than 20 minutes.
“His whole bottom half was stuck, (and) it looked like the ground had collapsed underneath him… He was cutting through to try to get home,” Karn Patel, a student in the DKE fraternity, told the Targum.
Patel was quoted as saying the trapped man said, “Oh God, you know I thought I’d be here all night.”
The construction site is the future home of Rutgers Hillel, an on-campus Jewish organization that is part of a larger national organization. Supporters have boasted it will be the largest Hillel building in the country when it is finished.
However, even though the construction is taking place on the site of a former university parking lot, it is not being funded or supervised by the university.
“The construction at 78 College Ave. is not a Rutgers University project. It is being built by Hillel,” added the spokesperson, who referred questions to the construction company handling the project.
A woman who answered the phone at Atlantic Realty Development on April 3 said that no one was able to speak to New Brunswick Today due to the Passover holiday.
“I don’t even know where could I transfer you,” said the woman. “Today is holiday. I couldn’t find anyone who can help… They’re all in Israel.”
A banner hung from the fence at the site also included the name of another company, Construction Management Resources, LLC.
The Executive Director of Hillel, Andrew Getraer, did not respond to questions about who was responsible for installing fences at the site, and whether or not union labor was being used.
New Brunswick city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw did not respond to a phone message seeking more information about the incident.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.