1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Atlanta bridge collapse kills 1, injures 18

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Songbird, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    ATLANTA (AP) — A soaring walkway being built to give visitors breathtaking views of the Atlanta Botanical Garden turned into a disaster zone when it suddenly collapsed, sending workers plummeting dozens of feet to the forest below.

    One worker was killed Friday morning and at least 18 others injured, some critically.

    Contractors were pouring concrete on the "canopy walk," which climbed as high as 40 feet, when it gave way. Witnesses described a frenzied scene of the pathway shedding dozens of workers as it tumbled to the ground.

    Electrical worker Juan Padilla said he and another worker had just started a break after installing wires under the bridge.

    Then came a deafening boom.

    "It sounded like an explosion," he said, fighting back tears. "It was so tough. I feel very lucky. Me and my partner — we could have been under the bridge."

    Atlanta Fire Battalion Chief Ken Byers said all the hurt workers were atop the bridge and none underneath when it collapsed. A popular nearby park was filled with joggers and others, but he said only laborers were at the scene when the bridge gave way around 9 a.m.

    Atlanta Fire Capt. Gregory Shinkle said workers were doing concrete work at the time, but authorities had few details of what caused the collapse. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said four federal investigators were looking into it.

    The garden's Web site describes the skyway as the "only canopy level pathway of its kind in the U.S." Rising to four stories high, it was to be supported by a system of cable wires "designed to hold the structure firm and steady without impacting tree roots" in the 30-acre garden north of downtown.

    The walkway's collapse scattered debris around the woody undergrowth dozens of feet below, which was surrounded by rings of yellow police tape.

    Sixteen of those injured were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, which was teeming with family and friends of the victims anxiously awaiting updates.

    Jose Garcia was looking for news on his friend Ruben Alonzo, a 33-year-old from Honduras who suffered a nasty cut on his head and a back injury. Garcia was joined by about 10 other relatives and friends all asking about their loved ones.

    Roger and Angela Woodard raced from Albany, Ga., to see Roger's brother, Anthony Baker, who pours concrete.

    "We don't know anything, just broken leg so far," said Angela Woodard.

    Trauma surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Salomone said many suffered injuries to their spines, backs and arms. Some were "potentially debilitating," he said.

    Grady spokeswoman Denise Simpson said seven were sent to intensive care, most with brain and spinal injuries. The victims included two sets of brothers, hospital officials say.

    The building was led by Hardin Construction Co., whose president declined to answer questions at a brief news conference. He and other authorities did not name the person killed.

    "Our hearts go out to the family of the person that was killed," Bill Pinto said.

    Construction on the 12-foot-wide walkway began in September and was expected to be completed by the spring. But now the garden plans to stay closed at least through the weekend, said Mary Pat Matheson, the garden's executive director.

    "The garden is devastated by this accident," she said.
  2. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    This is another scary moment from today's bus crash in Seattle. Breathtaking photo.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page