Crews Work to Stabilize Marathon Building Following Fatal West Houston Collapse
Recovery crews in Houston, Texas, have yet to retrieve the bodies of three construction workers who died tragically when a stairwell at the One MRO project – the future site of Marathon Oil Corp.’s headquarters – collapsed Monday afternoon.
Marathon Building Collapse Left 3 Workers Dead, 1 Injured
The October 5th accident occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. at the construction site on Town and Country Boulevard in the area of City Centre near Interstate 10 and Beltway 8. While initial reports indicated the building had collapsed, authorities later confirmed that the “pancake style” collapse had occurred in the scissor stairwell near the 13th and 14th floor and ended on the first floor.
“All we can tell you is that the actual stairwell that collapsed was under construction at the time of collapse,” Lozano said when asked why the collapse happened,” Houston Fire Department Capt. Ruy Lozano told reporters during a Monday evening news conference.
One worker was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was listed in stable condition last night.
Three other workers died in the collapse.
Engineers spent much of the evening checking the stability of the collapsed stairwell’s perimeter, while construction crews worked to cut holes into the roof of the 15-story skyscraper. A crane will then be brought in to lift large sections of the stairwell through the roof.
So far, the building remains too dangerous to enter, and it’s not clear when recovery teams might be able to remove the deceased.
Recent Inspection of Marathon Building Noted No Concerns
Investigators have yet to determine what might have caused yesterday’s tragedy.
According to The New York Times, the structure was a “precast interior” concrete staircase made to look as if it were floating. The failure occurred as the stairs were in the process of being set.
City of Houston inspectors conducted a structural inspection last Friday and had planned to conduct another on Monday. Last week’s inspection report noted no concerns, complaints, or issues.
The 440,000 square foot office tower is slated to serve as Marathon Oil’s headquarters once it opens in the summer of 2021. Houston-based Hines is developing the project, and Harvey Builders serves as general contractor.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Harvey Builders is one of the largest private companies in the city and reported $1.4 billion in revenue last year. Harvey Builders has two serious construction violations under contest from 2019 in Austin involving material handling equipment and fall protection. Records from the U.S. Occupational Safety Administration (OSHA) indicate the company also had a settled violation from 2017 in Georgia over hazard communication.
“Harvey Builders is working with the Houston Fire Department, our subcontractor East Texas Precast, and Hines, the project’s development manager, to investigate a fatal accident involving the collapse of a stairway on the construction site of the future Houston headquarters of Marathon Oil,” the company said in a statement issued yesterday afternoon.
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