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FL Parking Garage Collapse Kills 3

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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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.

 This video shows rescuers pulling an injured worker from the collapsed garage.

 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.

Overnight Rescue
 
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.

More Injuries

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.

Cause Unknown

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.

Contractor’s Statement

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.

 Textured painting and waterproofing work was progressing throughout areas of the parking garage, according to the contractor’s recent construction update.

 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.”

Almost Complete

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.

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Concrete; Fatalities; Health and safety; Parking Garages

Comment from GARY ROGERS, (10/11/2012, 9:26 PM)

WHERE IS THE OVERSIGHT???WHERE IS THE CONCRETE SPECIAL INSPECTOR??WHERE IS THE MODEL PROGRAM FOR SPECIAL INSPECTION ,THAT SHOULD BE IN PLACE IN THE JURISDICTION??WHERE IS THE QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM & INSPECTOR???IS THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR REQUIRED TO HAVE A QUALITY CONTROL INSPECTOR ON SITE??SHOULD BE!! BUT CHEAP IS CHEAP;AND,EVERYBODY WANTS TO SAVE MONEY!!!WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED!! OR ARE THE COLLEGE INSPECTORS AS INCOMPETENT AS THE N S P W P STATE INSPECTORS I USE TO WORK WITH,PROTECTED[WITH SENIORITY] BY A IRON CLAD GOVERNMENT EMPLOYES UNION CONTRACT!!!!


Comment from Chuck Pease, (10/12/2012, 11:47 AM)

So sad, prayers to the families and loved ones. Is it just me or is there a significant increase in building/structure collapses in US and around the world in general? Cannot help but think that it is the low bidder gets the work mentality that is partially to blame for shoddy and unsafe construction.


Comment from Phil Kabza, (10/15/2012, 8:31 AM)

I hope that the industry press stays on this story and publishes followups to inform us of the causes. Too often the collapses get the headlines, and the analysis and conclusions are shrouded in secrecy and indifference. We should not allow court gag orders to prevent the industry from gaining information that could avert a future tragedy.


Comment from Harman Metzger, (10/15/2012, 9:18 AM)

I agree with Phil. Having been involved with construction of quite a few of these, close attention must be paid to the grouting of the joints between panels and stacked columns - alot of times, only the edges get packed and not the entire joint.


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