Explosion at Texas project kills one, injures 15
- An explosion at a Gatesville, Texas, hospital addition project killed one construction worker, 43-year-old Michael Bruggman, and injured 15 others, according to KWTX. Ten of those injured at Coryell Memorial Healthcare System are in critical condition.
- The general contractor on the project, Adolfson & Peterson Construction, which has offices in Richardson, Texas, and in other locations through the U.S., said Bruggman and all others hurt in the explosion worked for Waco, Texas-based HVAC, plumbing and electrical contractor Lochridge-Priest. Bruggman was reportedly installing an air conditioning unit on the top of the building at the time of the explosion, and all of Lochridge-Priest's workers were near the central utility plant building.
- Local authorities, the state fire marshal's office and federal officials are investigating the accident but have not yet determined the cause, according to KXAN, and areas of the hospital are closed until deemed safe.
No doubt the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is on the scene trying to determine if any potential unsafe practices on the job had anything to do with the explosion or endangered employees in any other ways.
The agency is also reportedly investigating the March pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, according to Bloomberg Environment. Construction workers were not among those injured or killed, but OSHA explores the safety angles of major construction accidents as well.
Also looking into the FIU collapse is the National Transportation Safety Board. Federal investigators and the Florida Department of Transportation are entrenched in a legal battle with the Miami Herald for refusing to give up emails and other documents related to the deadly accident. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of that collapse, but engineers reviewing the FIGG Bridge Group for the Miami Herald said the placement of diagonal supports, part of a "novel" design, could have been the weakness that led to the accident, although none could pinpoint it as the cause.
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