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Worker dies from injuries sustained during demolition in Texas

On Tuesday, a construction worker was injured in Galveston, Texas, when he was crushed during the demolition of a historic Galveston hotel, and yesterday it was reported that the worker died as a result of those injuries.

The accident occurred when a section of the second level of the Flagship Hotel collapsed, causing the man to be pinned under a half-ton slab of concrete. Rescuers were able to free the man and bring him to the hospital, but unfortunately his injuries were beyond treatable. The 65-year-old worker was from Salt Lake City, officials said.

The Flagship Hotel opened in 1965 and is located on what is known as the Pleasure Pier in Galveston. However, the beachfront hotel was damaged in the 2008 hurricane and has sat vacant ever since. The city decided to tear down the hotel to make room for a new amusement area on the pier. Now the city has put the demolition on halt until it can be determined how the accident occurred and if any additional safety measures need to be in place to ensure that no other workers are harmed.

Of all the dangerous private-sector industries that exist today, the construction industry still sees the most fatalities as a result of work-related injuries. Demolitions are very dangerous operations that result in thousands of pounds of heavy concrete, steel and other structural materials being strewn about as the building tumbles down. That is why demolitions require the utmost planning and safety precautions.

While it is unknown how this accident occurred, it is possible that the construction companies overseeing the demolition did not have the necessary safety measures in place. If that is the case, the family of the worker killed could likely bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the companies for damages.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Worker hurt in Galveston hotel collapse dies," 4/27/2011.

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