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Condo Construction Accident Kills 1

Monday, October 24, 2016

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Federal workplace safety regulators have opened an investigation after one person was killed and several others were injured Wednesday (Oct. 19) evening when building materials rained from the top floor of a high-rise construction project in Miami, according to authorities.

Formwork and scaffolding debris landed on the busy street and sidewalk below the Echo Brickell condo tower under construction. A 50-year-old bystander suffered a heart attack as he was fleeing from the scene, reports relate. He later died at a hospital, officials said. As of Friday (Oct. 21) morning, authorities had not identified the man.

At least five others were injured, including two construction workers. Their injuries were minor, according to Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The falling materials reportedly damaged a car, trapping a woman inside, and the debris forced the Miami Police Department to close nearby streets. Streets reopened Thursday morning, as the structural safety of the building was assessed.

"I see all this debris coming flying down and everybody inside the pool area at the Four Seasons Hotel were scattered around," witness Michael Jacobs told a local NBC television station.

Manager Offers Details

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso told The Miami Herald Thursday that the structure that fell was “cantilevered scaffolding that hangs out over the edge of the high-rise.”

He said workers “had been loading and unloading equipment onto the platform using a crane and the temporary structure either became stressed or took on too much weight,” the report said.

Developer Statement

The project’s developer, Property Markets Group, told reporters it was investigating the situation, along with its general contractor (John Moriarty & Associates of Florida) and city officials to understand what happened with the formwork connection.

The company also offered condolences to the family of the gentlemen who passed away.

“The site has been secured and is currently being re-inspected to ensure proper safety measures are in place,” PMG told media outlets.

When complete, the Echo Brickell will reach 57 stories and feature 180 luxury condos.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it had opened a case into the incident. The general contractor does not have any recent OSHA cases, according to the agency's database.


Tagged categories: Access; Accidents; Commercial / Architectural; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Construction; Developers; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; OSHA; Residential Construction; Scaffolding

Comment from Jesse Melton, (10/25/2016, 8:10 AM)

Are you sure it counts as a fatal accident if the fatality was not actually killed in the accident? It really sucks the guy died, but scaring yourself to death hardly seems like a reasonable justification to call an accident fatal. What about people who die in scary almost car accidents where nothing actually happened? What about people who fall while rock climbing but are saved by their safety equipment but still die from heart failure? A passenger in a large jet that experiences severe turbulence keels over dead. Did the pilot kill the passenger who died of a heart attack was it the plane or the Canadian Weather Control Weapon that killed the them?

Comment from M. Halliwell, (10/26/2016, 11:11 AM)

If the heart attack happened on scene and as a direct result of the accident(or fleeing it), then yes. If a worker is injured at a job and dies in hospital, it is still counted as a fatal accident at the job. Same thing here...poor guy flees for his life as scaffolding is coming down about him and has a heart attack. Direct cause and effect, even if the actual death took long enough to get him to hospital. It would have been the same if the person trapped in the car had a heart attack in my books. Had he just witnessed it and had a heart attack, then I'd say no. As to your other thoughts...if a worker falls and is saved by his harness, but later dies of suspension trauma, then that would count. The rock climber version...would likely be allotted to pre-existing condition and them dying doing what they loved. The turbulence is not something caused by the pilot, so I would give the pilot a pass ;)

Comment from Jesse Melton, (10/27/2016, 7:52 AM)

A 50 year old man experiencing fatal heart failure isn't due a pre-existing condition? A 50 year old man in Florida experiencing fatal heart failure is closer to predestination. A 50 year old man in Florida who doesn't experience fatal heart failure is probably going to live to triple digit age. I don't have a problem with this case in particular, but saying an event which did not directly involve the deceased is responsible for their deceased state is really sketchy territory. Doubly so when the deceased was a walking statistic. I certainly can't blame family members if they want to blame the scaffolding for killing their granddad, and I think the construction company would be doing a nice thing if they paid the guy's medical bill and funeral expenses as a way to say they were sorry the guy died but I can't imagine they'd do that as it's near a certainty they'd be fingered for acknowledging liability. There is such a thing as just sh*%#y luck and people have to accept that. Not every misfortune is the result of irresponsibility on someone else's part.

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