OSHA launches investigation into Echo Brickell accident

Scaffolding hanging over the tower's side collapsed, causing building materials to fall

October 21, 2016 12:45 PM
The Echo Brickell tower as of September, left, and construction materials hanging from the building (Credit: Hiten Samtani)

The Echo Brickell tower as of September, left, and construction materials hanging from the building (Credit: Hiten Samtani)

The Echo Brickell construction accident that left five injured and one dead is now under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, agency officials confirmed Friday.

OSHA spokesperson Mike D’Aquino told The Real Deal that the agency had opened an investigation into the accident, declining to release further details.

Construction has halted on the 57-story condo project, located at 1451 Brickell Avenue, as OSHA investigators work to determine what caused scaffolding and building materials to fall from the tower’s top floors late Wednesday.

Photos of the aftermath show a pair of temporary platforms hanging over the tower’s side collapsed, raining building materials onto the street below.

A silver sedan was crushed, and its driver had to be pulled from the vehicle. Another man in his 50s was trying to run from the scene when he suffered a heart attack and died. NBC6 reported that friends identified him as Salvador Garcon, a banker originally from Spain.

Fire rescue crews responded to calls of an accident and temporarily stopped traffic on 14th Street, 15th Street and Brickell Avenue. Those streets reopened the next day.

Five people were injured altogether, of whom two were construction workers. A statement from the building’s developers, New York-based Property Markets Group and JDS Development Group, said those who were injured have since been released from the hospital.

The statement added that the construction site has been secured. “When a construction accident occurs, all you can hope for is the safety of everyone involved,” the developers said.

Construction crews had finished pouring the 48th floor of Echo Brickell this month after breaking ground on the project in October 2014. The 180-unit building was expected to open in the first half of 2017, though it’s not immediately clear how this incident will affect the project’s timeline.

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