Two construction workers fell six stories to their deaths early Wednesday morning after the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed. The workers were pouring concrete for a new hotel near Orlando, Florida, just outside Disney World. A third man survived by hanging onto part of the scaffold and pulling himself to safety.
The men were working on the $282 million JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort, scheduled to open in 2019. It is owned and developed by private equity group DCS Investment Holdings, which is owned by Dwight C. Schar, co-owner of the Washington Redskins.
The construction project is still in the concrete-pouring stage. The men were standing on the scaffolding between the sixth and seventh floors when “for reasons unknown at this time” the support collapsed, said Orange County Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles. Fire Rescue received a call about the accident at about 4:15 a.m.
Eighteen workers were on the scene at the time of the accident. Both men who fell died upon impact. The third man who pulled himself to safety suffered minor injuries.
The accident is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s office. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will also conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
More work-related fatalities occur in construction than any other industry, according to OSHA statistics. In 2016, 991 – or 21.1 percent – of on the job fatalities were in construction. The leading cause of death in the construction industry in 2016 were falls.