Federal safety authorities have opened an investigation and rescue efforts continued at the site of a deadly parking garage collapse at a Miami-Dade College campus in Doral, FL, Thursday (Oct. 11) morning.
A portion of a five-story parking garage under construction buckled level by level at approximately 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday (Oct. 10), claiming at least three lives and injuring nine others.
Search for Final Victim
Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue officials continued to search for at least one other unaccounted for worker in the concrete rubble on Thursday morning, according to reports.
CNN / Miami-Dade Fire Rescue
|This video shows rescuers pulling an injured worker from the collapsed garage.|
However, they do not expect to find the worker alive.
Two other workers (Jose Calderon and Carlos Hurtado de Mendoza) died at hospitals after being rescued Wednesday. Initial statements claiming that only two workers were trapped proved incorrect.
Just after midnight Wednesday, rescuers pulled a third construction worker, identified as Samuel Perez, who had been trapped under the steel and concrete for more than 12 hours.
The rescuers had to amputate both of the trapped worker’s legs in order to free him from the debris, reports related. Perez later died at a local hospital, reports said.
As many as nine other contractors were injured, according to reports. Three were treated at the scene, and others were sent to local hospitals, according to Cristina Armand, a Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue spokesperson.
No students were injured in the collapse.
There has been no word released regarding the cause of the fatal collapse. However, OSHA has opened an investigation into the incident, Mike D’Aquino, an OSHA spokesperson told D+D News.
The agency has up to six months from the beginning of its investigation to issue findings and determine whether any federal safety standards were violated.
The victims all appeared to be employees of the project’s general contractor, Florida-based Ajax Building Corp. The company issued this statement Wednesday:
“Ajax Building Corporation extends our deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of our colleague who died, our colleagues currently being rescued. and others injured in today's accident at our construction job site for the new parking garage at Miami-Dade College West Campus in Doral, Florida.
Ajax Building Corp.
|Textured painting and waterproofing work was progressing throughout areas of the parking garage, according to the contractor’s recent construction update.|
“While we do not yet know the cause of this tragic collapse, we are committed to working actively and cooperatively with our design and construction partners and local, state and federal authorities to determine the exact cause of this accident. We also intend to conduct an internal review with our partners, Harvard Jolly and Coreslab.
“At this time, we are properly focused on the tragic loss of a life and the well-being of anyone injured, and on helping the families involved.
“Safety on the job site is the overarching priority of Ajax all through the company’s 54-year history. Even as we work to determine the cause of this accident, we are committed to embracing any additional protocols, policies and procedures that will enhance and ensure the continued priority of safety.”
‘House of Cards’
Victoria Buczynski of Miami told the Associated Press that she saw the collapse while working at a cigar store across the street from the site.
“It fell to the ground like a house of cards,” Buczynski said. “The construction workers started running out, screaming. It was loud. Our entire building shook.”
Image show the parking facility construction was near completion. The $22.5 million garage was to be completed in December, according to the website of Ajax Building Corp.
Ajax Building Corp. recently updated the website Oct. 1 regarding the state of work. The contractor said that textured painting and waterproofing work was progressing throughout areas of the structure.