One dead, five injured in Brickell Avenue condo tower construction accident

Construction collapse on Brickell Avenue

A structural collapse located on Brickell Avenue in Miami injured several people Wednesday, October 19, 2016.
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A structural collapse located on Brickell Avenue in Miami injured several people Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

One man died and five other people were injured when scaffolding fell Wednesday afternoon from the top floor of a Brickell-area condo tower under construction.

Miami Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Joseph Zahralban explains how a scaffolding platform fell from the top of the Echo Brickell construction site. Six people were wounded, four were hospitalized and one of the hospitalized victims died of a "cardiac in

The man who died was a bystander in his 50s who ran from falling debris and had a “cardiac incident,” according to Miami Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Joseph Zahralban.

Zahralban also said a woman inside a car hit by debris was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two construction workers were also taken to area hospitals with minor injuries. Two other people were treated at the scene and released.

On Thursday morning, streets around the building, including Brickell Avenue, were reopened. Piles of crushed glass, metal and wood could still be seen on the construction site for the approximately 50-story Echo Brickell at 1451 Brickell Ave.

The night before, the entire area was blocked off with police tape, and Brickell Avenue was closed to both cars and pedestrians from Southwest 14th to 16th streets.

One of the three scaffolding platforms on the North side of the buildings plummeted to the ground Wednesday evening, showering bystanders in debris and crushing one car. The two other platforms were dragged down three stories and hung haphazardly onto the building’s face until a crane lowered them to safety hours later.

The building’s developer, Property Markets Group (PMG), confirmed the accident in an email statement to the Miami Herald.

“Unfortunately, a section of formwork has fallen from the top of the structure onto Brickell Avenue,” the management group wrote. “We are currently working with city officials, the fire department and police to secure the site and to provide any and all assistance and information as needed. We are investigating the situation with our general contractor. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”

John Leete, executive vice president at John Moriarty & Associates of Florida, the general contractor for the project, said he didn’t know details.

“We’re trying to nail down what happened,” he said. “Everything is safeguarded.”

Said Leete: “We’re going to shut down the job until we find out what happened.”