On October 5th, 2020, a concrete stairwell inside a 15-story building construction project collapsed killing three workers and injuring a fourth. This incident happened in the building being constructed on Town & Country Way between the CityCentre and I-10. The building is the future home of the Marathon Oil Company.
A recent inspection by City Officials had been done the Friday before, so it is currently unclear what caused the stairs to collapse. Fortunately, concrete structure collapses such as this are not common. Usually, when you hear of a collapse in a construction site accident, it is a crane boom collapse or a scaffolding collapse. While those can be just as deadly, they may not carry the kind of destructive force as 13 feet of falling concrete.
Common Causes of Construction Site Stair Collapses
Generally, when a concrete structure like this collapses, there are many potential causes. Some of those include:
- The concrete stairs and/or supports may have been manufactured incorrectly or not according to specifications. Small variations such as these can slip under the radar of city inspectors even though they may result in devastating consequences.
- The concrete stairs and supports may have been made correctly but installed improperly.
- The structural design of the stairs and/or the building itself may not have lent itself to supporting 13 stories.
Unfortunately, determining the real cause of a construction collapse can be slow and difficult when all that is left behind is a pile of rubble. Until then we must wait for answers from OSHA, City inspectors, HFD, and other government agencies who will be required to sort all of this out.
In the meantime, our hearts go out to those injured and those who lost loved ones. Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. once officed in the office buildings that were located there prior to our relocation just down I-10 to the Memorial City Mall area.