A construction worker died after getting hurt on the job. His death occurred as a result of injuries suffered following the collapse of a section of a Westfield Montgomery shopping mall parking facility. The collapse sent a concrete block estimated at over 50,000 pounds hurtling down.
A second construction worker was trapped under portions of the collapsed concrete for approximately four hours until he could be extracted by emergency responders. They had to cut both steel and concrete material to get to him. He was then rushed by air to a Baltimore hospital, where he was treated for serious injuries.
Rescue workers faced extreme danger as cracks in the structure appeared to be widening during their onsite rescue efforts. At one point, rescue efforts were temporarily halted to get advice from structural engineers as to how best to proceed. The rescue attempt involved as many as 20 personnel and they gave both comfort and medical assistance to the injured victim during his long ordeal.
Because the parking structure was in the process of being renovated, there were no vehicles present. The collapse came in a section of the facility located between the second and third floors of the garage. The collapsed material covered an area of approximately 40 feet. Personnel involved in the rescue included firefighters and police.
After the incident, a section of the garage was sealed off. An investigation of the collapse will examine the numerous construction permits that were issued for the construction that was underway. Authorities declined to discuss whether the company carrying out the work had been found to have been in violation of any order or cited for any illegal acts prior to the accident.
The injured worker may have viable workers’ compensation claims against his employer or personal injury claims against third parties found to be at fault for his injuries. Claims for wrongful death may be pursued by the family of the deceased worker.