Crane Accidents

Worker Crushed After Crane Hits Cable Holding Steel Frame (Rebar Cage)

05/15/02

San Diego, California

A 31-year-old man working Worker Crushed After Crane Hits Cable Holding Steel Frame (Rebar Cage) on the San Diego Trolley extension was killed yesterday when a crane accident led to the collapse of an 80-foot column being built to support a bridge, authorities said.

The 12:12 p.m. accident west of Waring Road apparently happened when part of the crane struck a cable that was holding up the steel frame for the bridge support, police said. The impact snapped the cable, causing the steel frame to collapse.

Three construction workers were on the bridge support at the time, authorities said. Two jumped from the frame when they saw what happened. They suffered minor cuts and bruises.

Rosendo Luna of San Diego was unable to escape the falling steel and was crushed, the county Medical Examiner’s office said.

The crane operator was not identified.

A construction foreman said that yesterday was the crane operator’s first day on the job. The foreman, who declined to be identified, said he was giving hand signals to the crane operator, but that the operator appeared to be looking up at the time.

“He wasn’t taking my signals,” the foreman said. “He was looking up in the air and revving it up to full throttle.”

The accident is being investigated by Cal-OSHA, but investigators with that agency declined to comment yesterday.

The fatal accident halted construction on the project for at least a day, authorities said. The delay, however, could be extended, said Nancy Irwin, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transit Development Board, which oversees trolley planning and operations.

The project design and construction management company is Washington Infrastructure Services Inc. Modern Continental is the project’s primary contractor, and the company’s name was printed on the crane involved in the accident. Pacific Coast Steel Inc. is the subcontractor building the framing for the bridge support, Irwin said.

Representatives from the companies referred questions to Irwin.

“Everyone at MTDB offers its condolences to the family of the victim,” she said.

The accident happened near the site of a future Grantville trolley station, north of Interstate 8, between San Diego State University and Qualcomm Stadium.

The construction is part of the 5.9-mile Mission Valley East trolley extension, which will run from Qualcomm Stadium through SDSU and connect with the trolley system’s Orange Line in La Mesa. The project is on schedule and set for completion in December 2004.

The $431 million project is funded primarily with federal gasoline taxesand various state and local taxes.

The 45-mile trolley system was most recently expanded in 1997 with the opening of a $220 million, six-mile segment from Old Town to just east of Qualcomm Stadium.

 

Category: Accident Report

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