City Mourns Heat-Related Death of Sanitation Worker, City Flags At Half-Mast

A 37-year-old sanitation worker who was working in Staten Island was found dead in his car Wednesday afternoon, not long after he complained about the heat, which hit the mid-90s.

Sgt. Frank Musella, who has worked for the Department of Sanitation since October 2006, sought sanctuary in his car and was found unresponsive a short time later, said Belinda Mager, a spokeswoman for the agency.

Musella was found by his sanitation colleagues who called 911, and was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital South where he was pronounced dead.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of New York’s Strongest, who died while in service of our city. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Musella’s family, especially his wife Alessandra and two sons Frank Jr. and Anthony, as well as his friends and fellow sanitation colleagues. New York City stands ready to support them all in this tragic time of need,” Mayor Bill de Blasio in a written statement.

“The Sanitation family is heartbroken over the sudden passing of Sergeant Musella, a dedicated member of our Enforcement Division for the last nine years. He worked tirelessly to keep New York City clean, safe and healthy. And when off duty, volunteered his time and efforts to support DSNY’s Autism Speaks campaign. The Musella family will be in our thoughts and prayers,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

My thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Frank Musella’s family, friends, and @NYCSanitation as they mourn this terrible loss, said Public Advocate Tish James on Twitter.

In honor of Sergeant Frank Musella, a dedicated member of the Department of Sanitation’s Enforcement Division, who died in service, all flags shall be flown at half-staff effective immediately until interment, by order of the Mayor of the City of New York, Bill de Blasio.

Musella leaves behind his wife, Alessandra, and two sons, Frank, Jr., 8 and Anthony, 4.

As of Thursday, the American Flag, the New York State and City flags, and the POW-MIA flag will be flown at half-staff on all City buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs.

The flags will return to full-staff on the day following Sergeant Musella’s burial.


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