Thursday, 16 July 2015

Scaffold Collapses

3 workers rescued after scaffolding collapses outside Duval County Jail.
3 workers rescued after scaffolding collapses outside Duval County Jail (Jacksonville, Fla.): Three workers were rescued Thursday afternoon after the scaffolding they were standing on outside the Duval County Jail collapsed. One of the men was rescued by a co-worker. Jacksonville Fire-Rescue then conducted what they called a high-angle rescue, using ladder trucks and a commercial bucket truck.

"They'll do whatever it takes to get them down," said Randy Wyse, president of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters. Less than 30 minutes after the initial call, the two other men, contractors cleaning & resealing the windows, were safely on the ground. "Fortunately, all three of the individuals were harnesses with their safety harnesses, which probably saved their lives," said JSO spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda.

Channel 4 chief meteorologist John Gaughan said there were gusts of wind in the area from a brief thunderstorm passing at the time, but the highest was measured about 30 mph. "More weather is supposed to be coming in. We're trying to determine how to secure the scaffold," Bujeda said.

Mozambique: At Least Five Dead in Scaffolding Collapse (Maputo) — At least five building workers died, and a further six were injured in a scaffolding collapse at a building site in downtown Maputo on Tuesday afternoon.

The building where the collapse occurred is owned by the JAT group, and is intended to house the future offices of the National Social Security Institute (INSS). It is 17 storeys high, and most of those who fell to the ground were working at a height of over 30 metres.

When the spokesperson for the fire brigade, David Cumbane, spoke to AIM in the early evening he could confirm three deaths - but at the stage the firemen and other rescue workers were still removing the dead and injured from the debris.

Before the fire brigade arrived, it was the construction workers themselves who began the rescue operations, trying to save the lives of their colleagues trapped under the scaffolding. AIM noted that some of the building workers lacked basic protective clothing. They had no helmets, goggles or boots, which should be routinely supplied by any contractor on a building site.

One worker, speaking to AIM on conditions of anonymity, said that the scaffolding collapsed because of a defect in assembling it. He claimed it was not the first time that an accident of this sort had happened. “The same thing happened last year”, he said, “but that time we were lucky because nobody died”. This worker complained to reporters of the lack of safety equipment on the site.

“There's no safety gear”, he protested. “We're working under inhuman conditions. They treat us as if we were slaves. There are even people on the site working in flip-flops”.

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