PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Register Now for D+D 2014

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Bridge Worker Killed on Stadium Project

Monday, February 3, 2014

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

One bridge worker drowned and another was serious injured when the man-lift to which they were tethered toppled from a floating dock and vanished into the Brazos River in Waco, TX, authorities said.

Jose Dario Suarez, 55, of Manor, TX, and another worker were dragged into the river just after 4 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 28) when the boom, attached to a crane, fell into the river in near-freezing temperatures, reports said.

The two men had been working on a $9.1 million pedestrian bridge as part of the new $260 million McLane Football Stadium that Baylor University is building on a 93-acre site near the river.

McLaneStadium-PedestrianBridge
Austin Flintco

The $9.1 million pedestrian bridge over the Brazos River will connect to Baylor University's new football stadium. The victims were tethered to a boom, attached to a crane on a floating dock.

The accident occurred just a few days after a project topping-out ceremony that was too windy to allow for a steel beam to be safely lifted into place.

Worker Escapes

Both men were harnessed to the equipment when it fell, police said.

However, the other worker, whose name was not released, was able to free himself from his harness and swim to the river's surface. He was rescued and treated for hypothermia at an area hospital.

Crews and responders were unable to find Suarez or the equipment, however, setting off a four-hour search with sonar by Waco firefighters and state game wardens.

Divers found Suarez's body that evening in 16 feet of water, and he was pronounced dead at 8:17 p.m. local time. An autopsy later concluded that he had drowned.

"He was still attached to the equipment with his safety harness and flotation devices," Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told KWTX.com on Wednesday (Jan. 29).

Windy Construction

Baylor officials and contractors held a topping-out ceremony for the stadium project five days before the accident. At that point, the project was about 60 percent complete, with a crew of about 600 working seven days a week, general contractor Austin Flintco told reporters.

Baylor Athletics / YouTube

Baylor Athletics held a topping-out for the project Jan. 23, but wind prevented placement of the beam.

In a Baylor Athletics YouTube video of the topping-out ceremony, an official notes that the weather was too windy to allow crews to hoist the last truss into place as scheduled.

Construction work on the bridge was halted after the accident, while work at the stadium continued.

The stadium is scheduled to open Aug. 30, and officials said they would run crews 24 hours a day if necessary to make the deadline.

Subcontractor at Issue

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident.

Suarez and the other victim worked for a subcontractor, Derr and Isbell Construction LLC, which was established in 2012 as a division of Fort Worth-based Derr Construction Co.

McLaneStadium-Flags
Baylor Athletics / YouTube

Flags flapped on the site five days before the lift toppled into the river.

Derr Construction was founded in 1961. The company and/or its affiliates have worked on Texas Stadium, DFW International, and other major structural projects in Texas and Colorado.

Derr & Isbell did not respond Friday (Jan. 31) to a request for comment.

Baylor University President and Chancellor Ken Starr expressed the school's condolences in a statement Wednesday, saying, "All of Baylor Nation extends our deepest sympathies as we remember in our prayers Jose Suarez and all those whom he loved."

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Fall protection; Fatalities; lift; OSHA; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Workers

Comment from Billy Russell, (2/3/2014, 5:27 AM)

Prayer’s to the Families of these two men, A moment of silence...............


Comment from Chuck Pease, (2/5/2014, 10:25 PM)

Yes indeed. We lost 2 more brothers here in Phx last week. Another scissor lift accident. Damn I always hated the scissors. Would rather be in a boom anyday.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
Portable Power from Absolute Equipment

•Compressors
•Lighting Systems
•Generators
•Light Compaction
Sales • Rental • Service
Call 1-866-931-6655
Over a century of
providing excellence.


Minerals Research & Recovery
PREMIUM SLAG ABRASIVES

Visit mrrinc.com Companies specializing
in abandonment and decommissioning projects have discovered that Sharpshot® 20X50 copper slag is an ideal product for subsea waterjet cutting.
Call Steve: 520-297-4626


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Truss bridge treated in 2000 with Termarust's (HR CSA) field-proven rust mitigation system chemically stopped corrosion, crevice corrosion & pack rust.


U.S. Zinc

Offering custom grades and packaging of zinc dust, oxide, metal and fines, U.S. Zinc provides direct shipping to locations worldwide. Helping the world work™


Spider, a Division of SafeWorks, LLC
Complete Suspended Access Solutions

Need Access? From platforms & hoists to rigging & fall protection, Spider leads the industry in rentals, sales & service.
Call today: 877-774-3370

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com