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Construction accident traps two workers

A cloud of asbestos and cement dust marked a serious accident at a work site on October 17, according to local sources. A construction accident at the former site of a Social Services building currently being renovated into a family court injured two construction workers and sent 17 more to local hospitals for decontamination. Iowa residents will no doubt be pleased to hear that the two injured parties are in stable condition.

It is currently unclear what caused the structural collapse, but it has been confirmed that a 30-foot by 50-foot piece of concrete laced with steel bracers became dislodged and crashed down onto two construction workers, pinning them to the ground. The collapse also released billows of asbestos into the localized environment, likely due to the building's advanced age. Apparently, an environmental team was on hand preparing for asbestos removal when the collapse occurred.

The two workers were extricated from the debris by local police forces and were taken to a hospital with injuries described as non life-threatening. The other 17 people in the building were also transported to local hospitals for asbestos decontamination. Once widely used as a form of insulation, asbestos is now best-known as a poisonous chemical that requires specialized equipment to remove from older buildings.

Iowa workers may already know that the local branch of OSHA is mandated to be contacted in the event of a construction accident of this type. However, it does not sound from the evidence that any wrongdoing on the part of workers caused the collapse. In any case, workers' compensation will likely be made available to the injured parties to assist them in their recovery.

Source: CBS New York, "Two Construction Workers Trapped When Ceiling Collapses In Mineola", Oct. 17, 2014

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