The damaged crane was among two that collapsed about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday when working with other cranes to move a 20-ton metal structure in Ingleside, San Patricio County sheriff’s officials said. One of the booms broke loose, throwing the load off balance and dropping it onto the cab of a crane.
The cargo collapsed onto the cab of one crane, said San Patricio County Sheriff Leroy Moody. As the structure fell onto the cab, the load collapsed a second crane, witnesses told authorities.
Area police, fire, medical rescuers and sheriff’s deputies were called to the company’s south fabrication yard, where they waited while workers cut the structure and brought in other cranes to lift and remove the pieces to free the worker, identified by co-workers as Bebo Flores. Moody confirmed only the man’s last name.
HALO-Flight rescuers took Flores to Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial by 11:30 a.m., said Diana Keenan, a flight paramedic on the crew.
“He had a pulse, and we got him there,” she said, estimating the man was about 50 years old. “He had external and multisystem internal injuries.”
Sherry Carr-Deer, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System, said Flores remained in surgery past 3 p.m. He died later in the day, Carr-Deer said.
Two other male workers were treated for minor injuries on the scene, said Steve Knight, supervisor with Tri-County Emergency Medical Service in Ingleside.
Workers in an adjacent building were evacuated, police said.
Company officials wouldn’t talk about the accident Tuesday..
Phone calls to Kirk J. Meche, vice president of operations with the corporate offices of Gulf Island Fabrication Inc, in Houma, La., also were not returned. Gulf Marine Fabricators is a subsidiary of the company.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration is investigating the accident, officials said. The administration generally only investigates accidents if someone dies or three or more people have been hospitalized, said Diana Petterson, spokeswoman for the department’s Region 6 of Dallas.
By law, the administration has up to six months to complete an investigation.