This accident could have turned out much worse if not for the firefighters on the scene. A news release from June 4 reports that a pair of masonries had to be rescued from a building on the National Institutes of Health Campus when a scaffolding platform the pair was using collapsed. The construction accident resulted in the workers falling and dangling from the platform, struggling nearly 80 feet in the air.
A witness reported that the accident happened quickly, and there was a large amount of dust that made it hard to see what had happened. The incident, which took place around 11:00 a.m., had taken place due to two metal arms drawing cables to the platform snapping off; that left the platform dangling in a vertical position on the side of the building.
Two men below the site of the accident had to jump out of the way to avoid falling debris. One recalled buckets, a cutting saw and bricks falling to the ground. It took only minutes before employees from the NIH, patients and visitors found themselves outside watching the scene play out. The witness reported that everyone was yelling for someone to call 911, and the two men hanging were allegedly trying to tether themselves tighter throughout the entire incident.
Fortunately, the National Institutes of Health Fire Department arrives quickly and used a ladder truck and aerial bucket to get the men to safety. The entire rescue took 22 minutes. The men were later transported to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, and both were able to be released within a few hours of the incident. Like any other workplace accident, the Division of Occupational Health and Safety will be on the scene to investigate.
Source: ABC 7, “Firefighters rescue construction workers after scaffolding collapses” No author given, Jun. 04, 2014