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Construction company being investigated in Fort Lauderdale crane accident had multiple OSHA violations


April 5, 2024

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Southeast Third Avenue bridge over the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale reopened Friday morning after part of a crane collapsed Thursday afternoon, killing a construction worker and injuring three people on the ground.

 

Fort Lauderdale Police identified the worker Friday as 27-year-old Jorge De La Torre.

 

A large, blue piece of steel from a crane at the Gables Riverwalk construction site at 333 N. New River Drive E. smashed into two cars on the drawbridge, landing on top of a van and crushing the passenger side of the vehicle. The front of a Tesla was also severely damaged.

 

The bridge was closed to boats and cars until about 9 a.m. Friday, when the city said both car and boat traffic was restored. No signs of the accident were evident on the bridge itself Friday morning except for a remnant of caution tape.

 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation with Phoenix Rigging & Erecting LLC, Kast Construction, LLC, and Maxim Crane Works LP, spokesperson Erika Ruthman wrote in an email Friday morning.

 

Kast Construction has received multiple OSHA violations over issues relating to falls and a lack of guardrails, records show.

 

In 2023, the company was fined two separate times, totaling over $20,000, for failing its “duty to have fall protection” standard.

 

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