Three construction workers were killed and a fourth man was injured in the partial collapse of a 15-story high-rise building under construction in Houston. The construction site is located on the westside of the city near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Beltway. The project contractor is Harvey Builders. The catastrophic Harvey Builders construction accident occurred not long after the noon hour on Monday afternoon. As of Monday evening, investigators were on the midst of more fully determining the cause of the accident.
What is known is about the Harvey Builders accident is newly constructed stairs within the high-rise structure gave way. Preliminary investigation suggests that the stairs were outfitted in a manner that rendered them unstable. The devastating accident started when the stairs located on some of the building’s higher floors breached causing them to plummet downward, shattering the stairs installed at lower levels of the structure. Further details as to what initially sparked the collapse are still being flushed out by investigators.
Officials have been unable to make much progress on determining why the deadly collapse occurred because part of the building itself remained unstable throughout the day. In fact, pervasive, persistent building instability hampered search and rescue efforts throughout the afternoon.
Focus on the cause of the fatal Houston construction site accident currently is likely on a number of potentially factors:
- Building design defects
- Defective or deficient materials
- Onsite safety hazards
- Other issues that may have jeopardized the wellbeing of the construction workers
According to officials, the entire building does not appear at risk of collapsing at this time. However, the area including and immediately surrounding the disintegrated stairwell remain unstable and generally inaccessible. Efforts are being made to shore up that part of the building to protect against any further disintegration of the structure. By the end of the day on Monday, secondary collapse at the site of the initial building failure remained a possibility.
With that said, Ruy Lozano, assistant chief of the Houston Fire Department, believes that all 250 workers at the Houston high-rise construction site have been accounted for, including the three casualties and the one individual who was transported to an area hospital. Although all workers appear to have been accounted for, a rescue team remains on standby at the construction site.
Due to the instability of the portion of the building where the collapse occurred, the remains of the fatally injured workers had not been removed from the structure as of Monday night. Emergency personnel have not provided a specific timeframe as to when the building will be stabilized and the deceased workers can be removed from the premises.
The injured worker was reported to be in stable condition. The nature and extent of his injuries have not been released to the press or public as of Monday night.
The three fatally injured workers appear to have been crushed by the collapsing section of the building. There names are being withheld pending notification of family members.
No member of the public in the vicinity of the high-rise building. In addition, property damage appeared to be confined to the building and the grounds of the construction site itself.
The construction site has been identified as that of the Marathon Oil MRO Project Building. Construction on the high-rise started earlier this year. No representative of Marathon Oil has yet commented on the fatal Houston construction site accident.
If you’ve lost a loved on in a Houston construction accident, or if you’ve sustained injuries in a Houston building collapse or a similar type of accident, the experienced legal team at The Doan Law Firm at (832) 835-0000 is here for you. A nationwide law firm, we are headquartered right here in Houston. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays.
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