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Scaffold Collapse Injures 6 Workers

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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Federal workplace safety authorities are investigating what caused a massive scaffolding collapse Friday (Oct. 16) in downtown Houston that sent six workers to the hospital.

The accident occurred around 11 a.m. at a seven-story, $400 million luxury apartment building under construction near Minute Maid Park—the home of the Houston Astros, according to numerous reports.

Rescuers pulled at least six workers out from beneath the rubble and transported them local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, reports say, citing Houston Fire Department Captain Ruy Lozano.

Officials: ‘A Miracle’

Lozano said as many as 40 people were on the scaffolding at the time of the collapse.

“It’s kind of a miracle,” he told media outlets.

Witnesses say they heard load cracks and booms before the structure came down. The area was then enveloped in a plume of smoke.

One witness captured the collapse on his cell phone, according to a local ABC News affiliate.

Julio Zavala, a worker on the project, said he was 30 feet away in a nearby garage when he heard the collapse, according to the Houston Press. He told the news outlet that he ran to the scene to assist a trapped man who was yelling for help.

Zavala said the man appeared to have a broken arm and was bleeding from his head, the report noted. The worker also said many of the workers who were on the scaffolding jumped through windows to avoid falling with the debris.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the incident.

Workers cleaned up the pile of twisted metal and debris over the weekend, reports related.

Developer: Investigating

Finger Companies, the developer and contractor of the apartment building, issued a statement following the incident.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and working alongside authorities as we try to determine the cause of this accident,” media outlets report.

The developer also thanked the first responders.

The Finger Companies, based in Houston, has completed more than 75 apartment projects in 13 cities, according to its website.

   

Tagged categories: Access; Accidents; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Developers; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; North America; Scaffolding

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