On Monday, October 5, in the early afternoon, a partial building collapse occurred at a Harvey Builders construction site for a new Marathon Oil structure in Houston. Three workers were killed in the collapse, one crew member was hospitalized and is reported to be in stable condition.
Investigation into the cause of the Harvey Builders collapse has been slow moving because the partly constructed Marathon Oil building was deemed significantly unstable following the collapse of a stairwell. The staircase in the building initially experienced a catastrophic failure at the 13th and 14th floors of the 15-story high rise. Once the two near top floors gave way, the staircase experienced a cascading collapse downward onto lower floors. The complete failure and collapse of the stairs happened in a matter of seconds, giving workers in the stairwell no time to protect themselves.
According to Houston Police Department, the agency that led search and rescue and then recovery efforts, each section of the stairs weighs approximately 14,000 pounds. Three workers were killed in the Harvey Builders construction site accident, buried under the incomprehensible weight of the rubble from the stairway collapse.
Nearly two days passed before emergency personnel were able to sufficiently stabilize the structure to allow recovery workers to enter the building. Once the structure was stabilized, the laborious task of removing layer after layer of concrete commenced. By this time, all of the 240 workers at the Harvey Builders construction site had been identified, including the three men believed to have perished in the collapse and the injured crew member at hospital.
The Houston Police Department Deputy Chief explained the recovery process. “As you remove layers, you’re not always sure what you’re going to encounter, so you have to just take your time, be patient, and do as much as you can to show respect to the bodies, as much as to be safe for our (recovery workers),” the Deputy Chief said.
Officials have not yet publicly released the names of the three workers who were killed in the Harvey Builders construction site accident. The Houston Fire Department has confirmed that all of the victims’ families have been notified, including the relatives of the three deceased workers as well as the injured crew member who is hospitalized in stable condition.
According to media reports, after being notified that her son was a victim of the catastrophic building collapse, Marisol Lopez came to the construction site with her son’s wife. Before her son’s remains were removed from the wreckage of the Marathon Oil building, Lopez held out hope that her son might still be found alive. She explained that until the end she had hoped for a miracle. Unfortunately, miracles are in short supply at the Houston construction site where the deadly partial collapse occurred a few days earlier.
By Thursday, the remains of all three workers who perished in the Marathon Oil building collapse were recovered. According to officials, they do not believe that there any other victims remaining in the site of the Houston construction site accident. Nonetheless, recovery workers continue to diligently move forward in removing the rubble from the building to ensure that no one is left behind.
The investigation into the cause of the Harvey Builders construction site accident is ongoing and picking up pace now that the building has been stabilized. The building had been inspected by governmental safety officials both on Friday and Monday before the fatal Tuesday collapse. Evidently, both of these inspections resulted in reports that noting was amiss in regard to the construction project, including with the failed staircase.
If you’ve a loved one who was killed in the Harvey Builders construction accident, a member of The Doan Law Firm legal team is here to help you understand your legal rights. Our firm can be reached any time of the day or night by calling (832) 835-0000. A Doan law firm construction accident injury lawyer will provide you a case evaluation and answer your questions at no cost and no obligation.
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