Workers trapped after scaffold collapses

Two
Hurlstone Ltd. construction workers were trapped inside a cherry picker after
scaffolding collapsed at a building in George Town at the height of morning
rush hour on Friday.

Fire
Services rescued the two men, who were inside the cherry picker at the top of
the scaffolding, shortly before 9am, after being trapped there for about half
an hour.

The
men had been working on scaffolding erected at the side of five-storey Anderson
Square building at the junction of Shedden Road and Goring Avenue, and had
climbed into the cherry picker as a squall hit. Hurlstone Ltd., in a statement
issued on Friday afternoon, said a s

quall
caused the scaffolding, which the company said was secured to the building, to
collapse.

Police
said they received a report of the collapse just after 8.30am.

No
one was injured in the collapse and no cars were damaged, said Inspector Dane
Pinnock of George Town Police Station.

Several
fire units and ambulances attended the scene and traffic was diverted while
fire trucks blocked Shedden Road to gain access to the men.

Hurlstone
Ltd. said it had been hired to do a customised aluminium panel retrofit to the
exterior of the building.

“During
a heavy gust of wind from an approaching squall, which was recorded by the
National Weather Service at 30 miles an hour, a section of the building
scaffolding, which was attached to the south elevation of five floors of the
building, became detached from its fastenings to the building and partially toppled
into the secured work area,” the statement from the construction company read.

The
company said the men had been exiting the top floor of the work area because of
the squall and “were forced to remain in the hydraulic lifting equipment which
was entangled in a portion of the fallen scaffolding”.

Hurlstone
Ltd. said its scaffolding had been inspected by a safety inspector during the
week and had been found to be “satisfactorily deployed”.

The
statement concluded; “We are proud of our company’s safety record during the
Hurlstone Group’s 30 years in business, during which we have never had an
accident of this type, and are profoundly grateful to our personnel for their
efforts in this regard.”

Police
and the construction company representatives spoke with the two workers
immediately after they got back on the ground to ascertain the cause of the
scaffolding collapse.

Witnesses
said they saw the scaffolding sway in one direction and then come crashing
down.

A
large crowd gathered in the rain to watch the rescue and to view the mangled
wreck of metal scaffolding and wooden planks, as the morning rush-hour traffic
slowed to a crawl.

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