3 Dead After Construction Accident in Austin, Texas

June 12, 2009

Three workers died June 10 after falling off of a construction elevator on the 11th floor of a high-rise Austin, Texas, condominium, officials said.

Two of the men plunged more than 120 feet to their deaths, while the third was rushed to the hospital after hitting a garage overhang on the sixth floor, officials said. He died at the hospital shortly thereafter. A fourth man, apparently suspecting the scaffolding was about to give way, managed to jump off the platform and survived.

He was treated on the scene by emergency responders but declined to be taken to the hospital, officials said.

The identities of the four men, who appeared to be Hispanic and were aged 28, 30 and 40, were not released.

The men were performing construction work about halfway up a condominium project known as Twenty One Rio, a high-rise building near the University of Texas at Austin. Warren Hassinger, spokesman for Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services, said the men died from “crushing traumatic injury.”

“It was a long fall,” Hassinger said.

Hassinger said the investigators from the Austin Police Department and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were trying to determine what caused the construction elevator to collapse.

“This will be thoroughly investigated from what I’ve seen and heard,” Hassinger said

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