March 25, 2008

Miami Construction Accident Leaves Two Dead

Two workers died today in a construction accident when a 39 story crane collapsed. The crane, which fell from a height of hundreds of feet, landed on the construction site's "safety office," causing the wrongful death of Jeremy Thonsbury, a 21 year old from Tamarac, and another, yet to be identified, worker. According to reports, a seven ton section of the crane struck the safety office.

In addition to Mr. Thornsbury and his co-worker, five other workers were seriously injured in the collapse, including Manuel Souza, a married father of two.

The collapsed occurred while the crane company was in the process of making the crane taller. Amazingly, this horrific tragedy comes on the heels of a similar deadly incident in New York, in which other innocent victims were also killed.

Not surprisingly given the City of Miami's lax regulations, there are no requirements for mandatory inspections of cranes. Unfortunately, for the families of those who died today, a City ordinance attempting to bring these unlicensed and unregulated crane companies into some governmental compliance goes into effect next week.

Considering the construction boom over the past five years in the City of Miami, we cannot understand how there is not strict governmental regulation and oversight of the crane industry, particularly given the devastating destruction their negligence causes. We can only hope the Florida Legislature steps in and requires regular inspections of the entire construction industry.