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Footbridge construction accident kills one, injures 4

One construction worker was killed and four others seriously injured when a pedestrian bridge being built at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, collapsed during concrete pouring work.

The affected employees were all working for a concrete subcontractor. The incident took place when the center section of the bridge dropped to the ground. The circumstances of the fatality are not clear.

Although the Wake County operations chief for emergency medical services claimed that no one was under the bridge at the time, at least one witness stated that one worker was trapped under the debris.

The exact cause of the accident is not known, including whether or not any safety violations are involved. The concrete subcontractor company, which has been in business nearly two decades, apparently had only one prior workplace safety citation on its record six years ago.

The prior citation was in connection with allegations that it failed to properly train its employees with regard to safety policies and did not provide proper fall protection. Those allegations eventually led to the company being fined.

The field of construction remains one of the most hazardous and potentially deadly occupations in the state of North Carolina. The system of workers' compensation seems almost tailor-made for an incident such as this one, in which workers suffered injuries including at least one broken bone, back and neck injuries, and general pain – all of which can result in their temporary or even permanent inability to remain in the workforce. Similarly, the family of a deceased worker may also be eligible for workers' compensation death benefits.

Anyone injured as a result of a work accident, and family members of anyone who dies as a result of such an accident, may make use of a workers' compensation law firm to assist them in the filing and processing of their claims. While this is not a requirement, it can help to secure workers compensation benefits as soon as possible after an accident.

Source: WRAL, "One dead, four hurt in bridge collapse on Wake Tech campus," Julia Sims, Laura Leslie and Adam Owens, Nov. 14, 2014

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