NEW YORK (AP) _ A construction worker was crushed to death in the World Trade Center pit, the first worker to die at ground zero since Sept. 11, 2001, officials said.

Hugo V. Martinez, 36, was painting a portion of a commuter rail station that is being rebuilt when he was apparently killed by a construction lift, about 20 feet from the ground.

His body was found Tuesday by other workers, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

Port Authority spokesman Greg Trevor said the agency and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating.

Martinez's employer, Alvin Levine, president of L&L Painting Company, said Wednesday that the company had ``no idea'' what happened to Martinez, who had worked for the Long Island business for eight years.

``We're all devastated,'' Levine said.

OSHA spokesman Ted Fitzgerald said he couldn't comment on specifics of the investigation but said a typical analysis would determine whether safety standards were met and could bring fines if lapses were discovered.

The train station that is being rebuilt is part of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson lines that connect New York City and its New Jersey suburbs.

The death was the first accident-related fatality of a construction worker at the site since the Sept. 11 attack, which killed nearly 2,800 people and turned the twin towers into a 10-story pile of rubble.

The cleanup of site was completed in May 2002. City officials had said it was remarkable that no one was killed or seriously injured as workers toiled atop heaps of debris made unstable and slippery by rain, mud and smoldering rubble underneath.