Monday, March 21, 2016

Electrician Plunges 800-Feet to Death from Skyscraper

An electrician in his second day on the project plunged some 800 feet to his death Thursday from a Los Angeles skyscraper that will be the tallest building on the West Coast once it's completed.

The worker fell around noon from Wilshire Grand Center onto the back edge of a passing car. It happened at one of the busiest times of day at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Los Angeles, when the streets were thronged with people.

The electrician hit the trunk of the car, which was sitting at the corner Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street with the blanket-covered body and a coroner's tent hours later. The car was badly damaged.

The woman who was driving did not appear to be seriously hurt but was taken to a hospital, city fire officials said.

The worker was an electrician with ASSI, according to a spokeswoman with California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

A newspaper reporter was on assignment at the construction site when the man fell to his death.

At about noon, the reporter took a construction hoist from the 71st floor down to the first floor of the hotel, which will be the West Coast’s tallest building when it is completed.

After stepping off the hoist he heard what sounded like “a large bag of cement hitting the ground."

The electrician was not supposed to be above the third floor and had removed his hard hat before falling 53 floors, construction company officials said.

The worker had not been wearing a safety harness because it wasn’t required for the bottom floors he was working on, said a spokeswoman for Turner Construction, the main contractor on the project.

The 73-story skyscraper will be about 1,100 feet tall, or nearly a quarter-mile, when it's completed.

A top-out ceremony was held earlier this month when the top beam was hoisted into place on the 73rd floor.

The $1 billion office and hotel tower being developed by Korean Airlines Co. Ltd. is expected to open in early 2017.

The building is near the Staples Center arena where the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers play and is at the center of the bustling and fast-growing financial district of downtown.

Chris Martin, CEO of Martin Project Management which is supervising the construction, says there were barricades around the edge of the building and other safety measures in place.

Martin said all of the building's 891 workers had undergone training.

"There's safety training for every worker on the job, and certain locations there's very specialized training. So these are all smart people," Martin said. "
We had no injuries up to this date."

Work at the jobsite, which had been suspended, will resume today.

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