Construction workers face some of the most dangerous working conditions when on the job. In a recent tragedy, one man was killed and four workers were injured when a pedestrian bridge collapsed at the Wake Technical Community college campus in Raleigh. According to reports, the injured workers were rushed to the hospital after the collapse. On man suffered severe back and neck injuries, another broke his leg and a third was being treated for pain. Three of the four injured workers were forced to undergo surgery after the accident.
Construction sites are dangerous because of faulty support, heights, potential problems with electricity and a host of other conditions that can pose a risk to workers. In the event of an accident, victims and their loved ones have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim and to collect financial benefits to cover lost wages and medical expenses. Though workers cannot traditionally bring claims against their employers, they can bring personal injury claims against third-parties, including property owners, manufacturers, and other subcontractors.
According to reports, the bridge cut through a wooded area on campus and crossed a creek to connect a library that was also under construction. A 200-foot area of the bridge which connected to nearby classroom buildings collapsed and dropped nearly 40 feet to the ground. In addition to those injured, there were a number of workers on the bridge who were able to escape without injury. Fortunately, no one was underneath the bridge at the time of the collapse or there could have been additional injuries or casualties. Our Raleigh work accident attorneys are experienced in the investigation of construction accident injuries or death.
Immediately after the accident, 911 calls poured into local responders. Those who witnessed the collapse reported that there were workers trapped under the concrete with serious, life-threatening injuries. Callers reported that those who witnessed the collapse were attempting to help rescue the workers who were trapped under wooden sections of the bridge. Video footage of the scene showed frantic bystanders seeking to help the injured workers. Within six minutes of the collapse, emergency responders arrived to the scene. Witnesses reported that it took some time for the responders to reach the victims because of the unstable construction area combined with the wooden terrain.
The president of the college reported that the construction workers had been pouring cement for a 140-foot section of the bridge when the center span collapsed. The contractor for the project said that the man who was killed along with the other injured workers were employed by a Raleigh company and were subcontractors on the project. The general manager of the subcontractors did not want to discuss the accident and authorities had contacted the families of the victims.
The contractor for the project had settled previous claims with the Department of Labor for safety violations, including faulty protective gear and failure to train employees. The company was cited for several safety issues during its construction of an East Carolina University dormitory in 2005. The Wake Tech bridge had been under construction since the spring and the project had an expected completion date in Summer 2015.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-19
More Blog Entries:
Poole v. University of North Carolina – Vocational Rehabilitation Often Mandated, Aug. 11, 2014, Greenville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog
Graven v. N.C. Dept. of Public Safety – Injuries From Holiday Lunch Accident Not Compensable, Aug. 15, 2014, Charlotte Work Injury Lawyer Blog