Two construction workers were injured Monday morning when the scaffold they were standing on broke loose from a wall and they fell more than 50 feet onto a concrete floor.
The men were working on the east wall of a concert-hall addition to the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall about 9 a.m. when the accident occurred.One man walked out of the partially constructed building and met paramedics in the parking lot. But the other man had to be lifted out onto a gurney by a construction crane. They were taken to University Hospital in good and serious condition, respectively.
Paramedics had to be lifted by the same crane into the building so they could work on the more seriously injured man.
After a preliminary investigation by the university police, the Salt Lake City Fire Department and the company constructing the concert-hall addition, Herm Hughes and Sons, officials believe the wooden scaffold the men were standing on came loose from the concrete wall and collapsed.
The men were wearing safety straps, but they were attached to the scaffold.
"So when the scaffold went, it took them with it," said University Police Sgt. Kent Curtis.
The men were removing a type of paneling from the wall, which was supposed to fall about 6 inches. Instead, it fell approximately 3 feet, Curtis said.
The straps holding that either broke or came loose, causing the scaffold to fall.
Rick Ellerson, Herm Hughes and Sons project manager, said the company has worked on the addition for about a year. This is the first accident at the site. There are about 100 workers on the project, which is scheduled to be finished by March 1999.
He declined to elaborate on what went wrong or what might have caused the accident until it is investigated further.
The scaffold was on the inside of the wall, so they fell onto a concrete floor, not the dirt surrounding the building. The man who was more seriously injured complained of numbness in his legs, Curtis said.
"He was in a lot of pain," he said.
The identities of the injured weren't released Monday morning as police tried to locate family members.