Three workers killed in mast climber collapse on North Carolina jobsite

Updated Mar 27, 2015

Three construction workers were killed Monday morning when a mobile scaffolding platform ripped away from the side of an office building under construction in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

According to a report from the Raleigh News & Observer, workers were dismantling the mast climber when it collapsed. The paper reports one man was inside a portable toilet on the jobsite and was crushed inside by the platform when it fell.

Police identified workers killed as Jose Erasmo Hernandez, 41; Jose Luis Lopez-Ramirez, 33, and Anderson Almeida, 33.

One other unidentified worker was injured in the collapse and several others barely ran fast enough to escape the platform as it fell.

The paper reports that a support structure for the system on the fifth floor failed, leading to the collapse. The North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health division is investigating the accident.

Citing a 2010 report from the Center for Construction Research and Training, the paper reports mast climbers are “as safe as other forms of scaffolding…but because they can carry multiple workers and ‘extremely large loads,’ and their design is less ‘forgiving’ of errors, accidents involving them can be catastrophic.”