6 pulled from rubble after scaffolding collapse in Houston
HOUSTON (AP) — Six workers were injured on Friday when scaffolding collapsed at a seven-story building under construction in downtown Houston, leaving debris scattered along most of a city block.
Houston Fire Department Captain Ruy Lozano said that all the injured workers were taken to local hospitals but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. No other details on their injuries were immediately available.
The accident happened at a residential complex across the street from Minute Maid Park, home of baseball's Houston Astros.
Long pieces of metal and wood from the scaffolding was scattered along most of a city block after the collapse. More than 100 firefighters responded to the collapse, with many of them going into the debris to look for people who might have been trapped.
About 200 workers were at the construction site when the collapse occurred and it appears that all have been accounted for, Lozano said.
"I rushed toward the window to see what was happening and everything was falling apart," Eric Valdez, an 18-year-old plumber who was working inside the building, told the Houston Chronicle. "It was pretty bad. I'm just blessed that I get to see another day."
Lozano said authorities don't believe anybody else might be trapped in the debris but they are continuing to search and using special equipment to monitor movement from anybody who might be trapped and movement that could indicate if a secondary collapse might happen.
Lozano said authorities are breathing a sigh of relief that more individuals weren't injured.
"The fact we transported only six (to hospitals) is lucky to say the least," he said.
The area around the scene is expected to be closed off for several days, Lozano said.
"We are monitoring the situation very closely and working alongside authorities as we try to determine the cause of this accident. In the meantime, we are grateful to the first responders on the scene and praying that everyone is OK," said Mark Sullivan, a spokesman for The Finger Companies, the real estate developer that owns the building.