Worker Crushed in San Diego Bridge Support Collapse

May 16, 2002
The first day on the job for a crane operator at the construction site of the San Diego Trolley is one he will never forget.

A coworker was killed when the crane struck a cable that was holding up the steel frame for a bridge support, causing the cable to snap. The steel frame collapsed.

Two of the three workers who were on the bridge support were able to jump off, suffering minor injuries. The third worker, Rosendo Luna, was unable to jump free and was crushed.

A construction foreman told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he was giving hand signals to the crane operator, but claimed the operator was looking away.

"He was looking up in the air and revving it up to full throttle," the foreman, who was not identified, told the paper.

Cal-OSHA is one the scene, but investigators would not comment on possible causes of the accident.

"Everyone at MTDB offers its condolences to the family of the victim," said Nancy Irwin, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transit Development Board.

Washington Infrastructure Services Inc. is the managing contractor on the project, which is part of a 5.9-mile trolley extension that will run from Qualcomm Stadium through San Diego State University to connect with an existing trolley line. Modern Continental, the project''s primary contractor, operated the crane. Subcontractor Pacific Coast Steel Inc. is building the framing for the bridge support.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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