Many people here in North Dakota were shocked when their local news was flooded with reports of a building collapse in Pennsylvania this month. For the people in Philadelphia, the accident was a lesson in what can happen when proper safety procedures are not followed. For people here in Minot, it was a reminder that work related injuries can happen anywhere, even the places you’d least expect.
The construction accident occurred after a wall from a nearby demolition site crashed down on top of a nearby Salvation Army thrift store. Thirteen people were reported to have been injured in the accident while an additional six people were killed. According to police toxicology results, the 42 year old crane operator was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the accident and was considered to be too impaired to operate the crane.
Some speculate that construction company’s failure to test the crane operator for drugs prior to the incident may be considered by investigators as they try to determine who is ultimately to blame for the accident. As some people have already said, it may not just be the crane operator who is at fault in this tragedy.
Meanwhile, the accident victims and their families are awaiting answers in the investigation and have pleaded with the judge to hold the guilty parties responsible. But the district attorney in the case stressed recently that his office did not want to rush a judgment until all evidence in the case had been compiled. Unfortunately for the survivors, this could mean several more weeks of waiting before justice is served.
Source: CNN News, “Grand jury to investigate deadly Philadelphia building collapse,” Jason Hanna, June 10, 2013.