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Search suspended for construction worker

March 31, 2012 12:14:07 PM PDT
The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a construction worker who fell off the Throgs Neck Bridge Friday morning.The search turned into a recovery mission by Friday afternoon.

The victim, a subcontractor, was working on a catwalk platform in the middle of the bridge just after 8 a.m. when it flipped over. He fell approximately 145 feet into the water.

The victim was later identified as John Massas, 35, of the Bronx. He may have been painting the bridge at the time.

He was part of a group of about 15 workers on the bridge. At least one of the workers witnessed the fall and was talking to investigators.

Massas' body was not found, but searchers did recover an orange construction hat in the water.

Coast Guard helicopters, small boats and cutter responders worked alongside members of the New York City Police Department and New York City Fire Department to search for the man.

Spanning 14 hours, emergency responders saturated a search area of approximately 11 square miles, totaling 463 total miles searched.

Massas was an employee of Nuco Painting Corp of Holbrook. That company was contracted by El Sol of Queens.

The Throgs Neck Bridge connects the Bronx and Queens.

Massas is survived by his wife and five children.

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