Mechanical Failure Possibly To Blame For Partial Building Collapse - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/10/08

Mechanical Failure Possibly To Blame For Partial Building Collapse

First responders were called to Glenna Goodacre and Avenue X just before 10 a.m. Tuesday. Apparently, part of a parking garage currently under construction dropped three floors. Emergency crews closed part of Glenna Goodacre Street as a precautionary measure.

On Tuesday construction site management, City of Lubbock inspectors and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration spent the day looking into what might have caused the collapse. NewsChannel 11 is told it appears mechanical failure in a crane could be to blame for the partial collapse of the parking garage which sent two construction workers to the hospital.

Texas Tech student Josh Petryk was on his way to class Tuesday morning when he says he heard a big crash. "I looked over and it looked like the floor collapsed and I heard people screaming," Petryk said.

 NewsChannel 11 cameras arrived on the scene moments after part of the parking garaged collapsed.

"Three stories of the structure had actually pancaked all the way to the ground floor," Lubbock Fire Department Deputy Chief of Operations Chris Angerer said.

Lee Lewis Construction is building the McDougal residential project. Mike McDougal, president of McDougal properties, says the parking garage is part of the suites. On Tuesday morning, he says a large crane was in use to lower pre cast concrete beams. McDougal say two construction workers were in the parking structure at the time of the collapse.

"Both were on the parking structure itself. One of them was all the way up on the third floor. I understand the road the piece of concrete all the way down," McDougal said. McDougal says the construction worker may have fallen up to 25 feet.  EMS rushed both men to University Medical Center in serious condition. 

The city says it appears the brakes on the crane lowering the beam failed. "The load just all of the sudden let go and dropped. It wasn't restrained by the break on the crane. It would just be like you're holding something with a string and you just let go," Chief Building Official for the City of Lubbock Steve O'Neal said.

We are told the beam dropped, hit the structure on the third flood and caused part of it to fall. O'Neal says now the concern is if there was any other damage to the parking garage.

"They've got to make sure what remains over there is still in good shape that's what they're going to do over the next couple of days," O'Neal said.

McDougal tells us one of the structural engineers is in from Dallas to take a close look at the building. Engineers, inspectors and OSHA are expected be back out on the scene Wednesday morning.

Both of the construction workers are in serious condition as of Tuesday night.  At this time, there is no word when part of Glenna Goodacre between Avenues X and W will reopen to traffic.

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