Six Injured in Scaffolding Collapse; State Inspecting Accident

Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-14 17:52:51-04

CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. — A scaffold collapse sent six construction workers to the hospital in Emmet Township. They were working on the new Courtyard by Marriot Hotel off Beckley Road.

“We have two [workers] that were taken to the hospital with significant injuries. We’re talking some broken extremities,” Mike Olson, Emmett Township Public Safety Director said.

“With a fall, obviously you’re always concerned about spinal injuries,” he added.

Olson said the construction crew was up three floors outside on the scaffolding. They were placing stucco on the side of the building. That’s when the scaffolding crashed.

“When we got here, two people, I believe, were being escorted into the hallway area. The other four were already inside, so we immediately began triaging them,” he explained.

An inspector with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) assessed the crash site with a firefighter and what appeared to be a construction worker.

Olson said the scaffolding was wrapped in this plastic sheet as the crew worked. It’s supposedly used to protect them from the elements.

Detectives experienced a language barrier with the injured workers, and that makes it more difficult to find out what happened.

“We don’t really know right now. It’s early int he investigation, and we’ll actually have to get up and look at those types of things and how the scaffolding was secured,” Olson said.

Was it attached to the building? If so, how? Did the wind play a factor, with speeds up to 25 miles an hour, along with the plastic sheeting?

“You would certainly think so. You would certainly think so. Wind is one thing that’s certainly got our interest,” Olson said.

He added, “Could [the wind] be a contributing factor? I suppose it could, yea.”

Stay with FOX 17 for updates on this situation.

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