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Structural collapse in California garage endangers lives workers

Investigators are still looking into the collapse of a Los Angeles parking garage that could have claimed the lives of nearly 200 workers had it not been for the quick thinking of a team of concrete watchers. Some of our San Diego readers may have heard about the construction accident that caused a 50-by-75-foot section of the parking structure to come crashing down just moments after the area was evacuated. Although no one was reported to have been injured or trapped by debris from the collapse, investigators note that the circumstances could have been quite different.

Reports indicate that 180 workers had been working on the structure just prior to the collapse last month. According to a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, workers were pouring concrete in the upper deck when spotters below noticed that something was wrong. All workers were evacuated just minutes before the section collapsed on an area where 10 workers had been working.

As we said before, this accident could have ended very differently.  Many of the workers could have been injured or killed in the collapse if it had not been for the spotters.  It will be important for investigators to thoroughly look into what caused the collapse so as to prevent another accident such as this from happening again in the near future.  Failing to fix the problem would make the construction company liable for a future accident and would point to negligence that could become the basis for a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit in the future.

Source: ABC News, “Workers Escape Large Garage Collapse in California,” The Associated Press, March 28, 2014

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