Construction Worker Dies in Florida Crane Collapse

( – Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating an incident that occurred on Thursday, April 4th. A section of a crane being used to construct a new building fell onto a bridge, killing a construction worker and injuring three others.

The crane was in service at the site of an apartment building being constructed at 333 North New River Drive East when workers were “stepping” the crane or adding segments to extend the height of the crane. A platform holding an extra segment of the crane became unstable, causing the large segment to fall onto the SE 3rd Avenue bridge below and crush the front of a vehicle. A second vehicle was also damaged.

The construction worker who was killed in the incident was identified by Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Stephen Gollan on Friday as 27-year-old Jorge De La Torre. Two occupants of the damaged vehicle were injured and transported to the hospital. A third victim refused medical treatment after being checked at the scene.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue checked each floor of the construction site confirming the safety of construction workers. According to Gollan, construction at the site has been shut down. There is no danger to surrounding buildings.

The incident happened around 4:30 PM. Fort Lauderdale Police Chief William Schultz described the traffic at the time as busy and said it was “lucky there were not more injuries or fatalities.”

The section of the crane left a hole in the bridge at the site of impact. The bridge was closed immediately after the incident and re-opened after a structural assessment.

The general contractor for the apartment building under construction is KAST Construction based in West Palm Beach. KAST, Maxim Crane, and Phoenix Rigging & Erecting are all under OSHA investigation.

KAST was sued by the family of a previous worker after a high gust of wind caused concrete formwork to fall from a building, dragging a construction worker to his death in 2016.

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